Posted on / by lane

New Study Supports Projection of Drug Abuse in the Trucking Industry

Washington, DC – A University of Central Arkansas (UCA) study has concluded that a recent survey of 151,662 truck drivers’ paired urine and hair drug screenings, in which 12,824 failed the hair test, “can be generalized across the national driver population.” Based on this study, 310,250 truck drivers would fail a hair test for illicit drugs and opioids use.

The Trucking Alliance recently conducted a survey of fifteen (15) trucking companies that utilize a pre-employment hair test when hiring commercial truck drivers, along with the federally required urine test. To compare the results, the companies submitted paired drug and urine test results of 151,662 truck driver applicants.

The test results indicated a major discrepancy between the number of drivers who failed a urinalysis drug screen and those who failed a hair test. While 949 (0.6%) applicants failed the urine test, 12,824 (8.5%) either failed or refused to submit to a hair test. The US Department of Transportation classifies refusals to submit to a drug or alcohol screening as a failure. This yielded a hair test failure rate 14.2 times greater than urine.

Cocaine was the most prevalent drug, followed by Opioids, including heroin. Marijuana was the third most widely detected drug. All of these drugs are prohibited by federal law and automatically disqualify persons with a commercial driver license from operating a commercial truck.

The Trucking Alliance subsequently asked the UCA College of Business to analyze the survey and determine if the test results could be applied, with accuracy, to the national US truck driver population.

The UCA study, entitled “An Examination of the Geographical Correlation Between Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers,” concluded:

1) The sample is large enough to draw inferences to the national driver Population, with a 99% confidence level and a margin of error of less than one percent.

2) The sample is representative of the national truck driver population.

3) The urine vs. hair test results can be generalized across the national driver population.

“We now have clear evidence that hundreds of thousands of drug impaired truck drivers are skirting the current drug test system and creating a dangerous public safety risk,” said Lane Kidd, managing director of the Trucking Alliance.