Commercial trucks take a high level of ability to operate on the roads because of their enormous size and weight. When drugs dull a driver’s ability to make good decisions, everyone on the road could be in danger. And as more truckers turn in positive tests, the government is looking to increase screening.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is calling for more tests this year after a 1% increase in positive tests in 2018. 25% of the average number of drivers are normally tested, but that number has increased to 50% for 2020.
The tests cover substances that can increase the likelihood of an accident. Those include marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines and methamphetamines and phencyclidine. A positive test can pull a driver from the road so they can’t harm other drivers, and they will likely face increased scrutiny in the future.
Testing aims to keep risks on the road low, and there are several situations where it can be required:
- Before starting: Employers can’t send new employees out onto the roads without a clean drug test. This could also include an alcohol screening if they require it of all drivers.
- After a crash: Drivers have to get a test shortly following an accident. An alcohol test has to happen within eight hours and a drug test within 32 hours. This helps ensure that any substances haven’t left the driver’s system.
- Randomly: Testing at random intervals plays a large part in a driver’s occupation, especially under the new FMCSA rules. Operators still have to answer the call for a drug test even if they are off-duty, and an alcohol test can happen while they are about to start working or shortly after.
- Under suspicion: Supervisors often have the authority to order their drivers to answer for reasonable doubts. Odors, behavior and appearance can all play a part, and the employee will have to take the test when they’re showing signs.
If you were in an accident with a commercial driver, it could benefit you to know whether they’ve been compliant with government testing. Failed screenings, skipped tests and missing results could all point to problems. Make sure you get the compensation you deserve when someone else is at fault.