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Positive drug tests on the rise among commercial truckers

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Trucking Accidents |

Truckers working in California and across the United States play an important role in the nation’s economy, but the large, heavy vehicles they drive also pose a threat to public safety. Commercial trucks are larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, meaning trucks often cause considerable damage to passenger vehicles when they collide. Many different factors raise the risk of a truck crash, and the fact that more truck drivers are abusing drugs is among them.

According to ESR Check, the number of truckers with positive drug tests rose 13% between the first eight months of 2020 and the same eight-month stretch the following year. The information comes from a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains that collects information about trucker substance abuse infractions.

How often truckers are abusing marijuana

A review of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and its contents showed that marijuana was, by far, the most common drug abused by commercial truck drivers. During the first eight months of 2020, 18,252 truckers had marijuana-related infractions logged in the clearinghouse. Yet, during the same stretch in 2021, there were 21,438 such infractions logged.

How often truckers are abusing other drugs

The use of cocaine and methamphetamine is also on the rise among this demographic. Between January and August 2020 and January and August 2021, the number of truck drivers who received cocaine-related drug infractions increased by 680. The number of truckers abusing methamphetamine, meanwhile, rose by 147 within this same span.

Truckers who have their drug offenses logged in the clearinghouse have to take certain steps if they wish to begin driving professionally after an infraction.

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