The rate of truck drivers posting positive on drug tests after an accident is increasing in California. This is also true for truck drivers in the rest of the U.S. It is true that the rate of positive drug tests has increased among workers in all fields. However, this is particularly dangerous in the trucking industry.
Positive drug results have increased since 2017
It should be noted that the total number of positive drug tests in the wake of trucking accidents has increased to a record level in the past few years. The rate of truck drivers testing positive for drugs following a collision has increased by 2.2% since 2017. The rate of pre-employment positive results increased by 9.5% from 2017 to 2021.
Meanwhile, the rate of post-accident positive tests for those in positions that were judged sensitive to safety increased by 41.9%. The disparity in rates shows that many drivers are more concerned about testing positive before they are employed. After being employed, their level of concern seems to be much lower.
Drug use is rising among truck drivers
Drug use continues to be highly placed among the top 5 factors that cause accidents. The rate of positive drug tests following an accident has increased due to the rising use of marijuana, cocaine, and opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone.
The recent figures stand in stark contrast to data collected before 2017. Up until that year, the industry had enjoyed 5 years of steady declines in the number of positive drug tests for truck drivers.
Since then, the use of marijuana has increased by 8.9%. The use of cocaine has also increased by 5%. This is a worrying trend that shows no signs of winding down unless strong measures are adopted by states.