Earlier this month, congressional members held hearings to assess the state of the trucking industry. During the hearings, which were attended by several trucking organizations, matters related to safety such as drug testing were explored. Due to the heavy presence of these large commercial vehicles traveling along Texas highways, actions that can reduce the possibilities of truck accidents are in the best interest of the public.
One group offered testimony to congress concerning purported evidence that suggest that thousands of drug tests are giving false negative results. The group, Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, testified that overwhelming evidence shows truckers are avoiding detection of drug use when they submitted to urinalysis testing. In comparison, drivers who submitted to hair sample testing were more likely to test positive if they had indulged in any illicit drug use.
Testing data showed that approximately 1% of driver applicants tested positive for drug use when they submitted to urinalysis tests. However, when drivers were offered hair testing, an estimated 8.8% percent of drivers either failed the tests or refused to give consent. This supports the supposition that urinalysis alone does not accurately detect the presence of all illegal substances. Unfortunately, at this time, the U.S. Department of Transportation relies exclusively of this type of testing when truckers are applying for their commercial license.
The safety group, which reports membership of some the nation’s largest industry carriers, is urging congress to support the removal of potentially dangerous drivers through the mandating of hair sample testing that is more accurate. It is believed that nearly 300,000 truckers could be using illicit substances, thereby posing a threat to the general public through the risk of deadly trucking accidents. Those who have been harmed as a result of a Texas crash may choose to pursue recovery of their monetary damages through the civil court system.