The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has detailed requirements for drug testing that trucking companies must follow. Specifically, any driver who was involved in an accident should be tested. Pre-employment testing is also required, as is testing if the employer has reason to believe a trucker is high. Any driver who fails a test or refuses to take a test should not be allowed onto the road.
Recently, the FMCSA released data for drug violations in 2020—and the numbers were startling. In sum, about 56,000 violations were reported, of which only 1,203 were alcohol related. This means that the vast majority of truckers who failed a test did so for drug use.
Most Popular Drugs
Leading the way was marijuana use, which accounted for about half of all positive drug tests. Marijuana is certainly dangerous to use while behind the wheel of a big rig, as it can make a driver sleepy and dampen his reaction times. Many cities in Florida are decriminalizing possession of marijuana. Unfortunately, too many truck drivers think this is a license to use the drug while on the job.
Following marijuana as most popular drugs were cocaine, methamphetamine, and amphetamine. Truckers often use these drugs because they increase energy. Driving long distances can become monotonous, and a shot of cocaine might be all a person needs to stay awake during an all-night haul. However, these drugs can make a driver jittery and prone to taking risks. There can also be a dramatic “crash” once the effects wear off, and some drivers could fall asleep on the job.
Pre-Employment Positive Tests
Over half of the positive tests came in pre-employment testing, which means the driver had not yet been hired. We are pleased they were caught ahead of time before they could injure someone out on the highway.
Only 2,187 positive violations were reported after accidents. An employer must immediately suspend a trucker after a violation, and the driver cannot return to work until he completes required steps and submits a negative drug test. Interestingly, many of the drivers who failed a drug test were making no attempt to regain their driving privileges.
Did a High Trucker Injure You? We Can Help
The Miami truck accident lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP have represented many innocent motorists harmed by high or intoxicated drivers. They suffer serious injuries in these collisions that require expensive medical treatment. Call 305-371-2692 to learn more about your rights.