SUBSTANCE TEST REPORTING CHANGES FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVERS

The dangers of drunk driving are well documented and understood by drivers in Kansas City, Missouri. Of equal danger can be drugged driving. Such impairment can be caused not only by the use of illegal drugs but prescription drugs as well. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued preliminary screening information to makers of prescription drugs to help the manufacturers more readily identify which substances could lead to impaired functioning when driving motor vehicles.

The concerns about impaired operation of vehicles extend beyond passenger cars and trucks to commercial vehicles as well. Due in part to the size and weight of large trucks, a single semi-truck accident has a high chance of causing permanent injuries or even death. With this clearly in mind, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is making changes to the hiring process for commercial drivers. The goal is to reduce the accident and fatality rate associated with impaired operation of commercial vehicles.

What changes are being made?

The Commercial Carrier Journal reported on what is being termed the Commercial Driver’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule within the transportation industry. The effort centers around a database that is being built currently and expected to be completed by the early part of 2016. The database will house specific information about all commercially licensed drivers.

Some of the rules that will accompany the rollout of the new database include:

  • During the hiring process, employers must check the database for all applicants’ records.
  • All applicants wishing to be considered for hire for driving positions must successfully pass alcohol and drug screening tests.
  • Any applicant who abstains from alcohol or drug screening will only be able to be hired for positions that do not require driving.
  • Employers must provide pass or fail results of all substance tests to the database.
  • Employers must review all driving employees’ records one time per year after making hiring decisions.

Many truckers own and operate their own vehicles. These individuals will need to rely on outside parties to conduct the database reviews on their behalf.

How many people die due to impaired truck driver negligence?

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 43 drivers involved in fatal drunk driving accidents in 2011 were commercial truckers. The next year, the number of truckers involved in deadly drunk driving accidents jumped to a total of 80.

How can Missouri victims get help?

Any drunk driving accident is serious and one that is caused by a trucker or driver of another commercial vehicle can be even more so. Anyone involved in such a situation should contact an attorney for help immediately.

Keywords: truck, accident, injury