Does Drug and Alcohol Testing of Truck Drivers Save Lives?
Truck drivers follow certain procedures and protocols as they transport goods from one location to another. Operating light or heavy trucks requires exceptional driving skills and staying alert, especially during long hour trips. Although most truck drivers are qualified and responsible, there are still some instances when drug and alcohol use cause truck accidents in the United States.
In 2018, there had been a staggering 9,786 accidents in Michigan that are alcohol-related, while there had been 2,636 that are drug-related. When a truck driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are highly at risk for road accidents. Although truck crashes are not as frequent as other vehicular crashes, they are more dangerous because of the damage that they could cause to the vehicle they are in a collision with. This may result in death, injuries, or property damage.
If you find yourself involved in a 18 wheeler, tractor trailer, garbage truck, or any other type of large truck accident, you will need the service of a professional lawyer from a reputable law firm like the Clark Law Office. Our truck accident lawyers can help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Because truck accidents are a complex matter, you should not take your case lightly.
Truck Accident Statistics in the United States
The following data is a summary from the report in 2017 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding large truck and bus crashes.
- There had been 4,899 crashes which involved trucks and buses in 2017.
- The number of fatalities involving large trucks increased by 4 percent between 2016 (112,000) to 2017(116,000).
- From 2016 to 2017, the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 5 percent (from 102,000 to 107,000)
- The number of large trucks involved in property damage due to crashes increased by 3 percent, from 351,000 to 363,000.
Drug and Alcohol Testing Procedures for Truck Drivers
Due to the danger of drug and alcohol use among drivers, it is necessary for truck drivers to undergo drug and alcohol testing. The FMCSA and the Department of Transportation of the United States of America require all Commercial Driver’s License owners to undergo alcohol and drug testing rules.
Here are some information regarding the resources and procedures of alcohol and drug testing.
- It is both the responsibility of the employer and the individual driver to know the rules and regulations regarding drug and alcohol use. There is a database on the internet that has the resources for drivers, including videos and brochures that contain all the testing rules you need to know.
- The drugs tested are the following:
- Opiates- opium and codeine derivatives
- Methamphetamines and amphetamines
- You will fail an alcohol test when you register an alcohol content of 0.04 or higher.
- Drug and Alcohol Tests are administered during pre-employment to be able to allow the driver to operate a vehicle, and post-accident, if in case a vehicular crash occurs.
- Drug and Alcohol Testing procedures can be found in the employee handbook entitled What Employees Need to Know about DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing. There is also a mock urine instructional video to help viewers understand the collection steps involved in the urine test.
- If you test positive on a drug or alcohol test, you will not be allowed to drive or operate vehicles. You have the option of completing a return-to-duty process to be eligible to drive again.
What are the Responsibilities of Employers for Testing Employees for Drug and Alcohol Use?
According to the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, employees in trucking, railroads, aviation, mass transportation, and other transportation industries must undergo drug and alcohol testing. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) implements and enforces rules that cover all employers, employees, and service agents in the transport industry.
It’s the responsibility of the employer to carry out the requirements warranted by the DOT. You’re also responsible for all the actions of your employees; hence, you cannot delegate the responsibility of complying with all the requirements.
It is the employer’s responsibility to educate drivers and training supervisors regarding the drug and alcohol testing regulations. An employer must provide a written policy to each driver and obtain from them a signed statement that they have received the material.
The employer is also required to provide adequate training to training supervisors to effectively determine drug and alcohol misuse among employees.
The Clark Law Office Can Help With Your Truck Accident Claim
If you or a loved one becomes involved in a truck accident, it’s best to contact a truck accident lawyer from The Clark Law Office immediately! Our team has decades of experience serving the residents of Michigan. We can provide you with professional and expert lawyers that can help you understand your case better and can help you throughout the arduous legal process. Contact us today at +1 (517) 347-6900 or email@example.com.