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Federal regulations tighten as drug use in truckers rises

On Behalf of | May 29, 2020 | Truck Accidents

Truckers have to drive straight and narrow to stay safe, and that includes staying clean. Using drugs while driving can cause dangerous situations, and the government wants to know who’s unfit to drive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will increase the number of random drug tests for those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The number of tests will double, thanks to rising rates of failed tests over the last two years. If you were involved in an accident with a truck driver, showing a failed test could be the fastest way to prove fault.

Unannounced testing

Employers have to give random tests to their drivers throughout the year. Each company maintains a list of drivers, and they periodically draw a name for testing. Once ordered, the employee has a short window to report to the testing site. Showing up late or refusing to take the test could be as dire as failing.

Regular occurrences

Random drug testing is a key part of regulations, but there are plenty of other reasons that a test can take place:

  • Before employment: Companies have to follow a strict screening process before hiring drivers, and drug tests are a part of that. A driver will also have to be re-screened if they are out of the driving pool for over 30 days.
  • After an accident: An operator will have to take a test after most accidents involving fatalities, traffic citations or damaged vehicles. They will have to undergo testing within 32 hours of the incident.
  • Reasonable suspicion: Signs of impairment or withdrawal can lead to a supervisor ordering a test. A driver’s appearance, speech or behavior that point to use are enough to warrant additional drug screening.

A failed test can show drug use, but missing tests or refusals can be just as serious. Make sure you understand how testing can play into your claim, and you may be on the road to recovery.

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