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Marijuana found in 21 percent more truck drivers involved in fatal crashes from 2014 to 2015

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Marijuana found in 21 percent more truck drivers involved in fatal crashes from 2014 to 2015

Written by Lucas Kibby, CleanFleet

accident,_highway_9,_CT,_flipped_truck

With the legalization of marijuana on the rise, so too are those testing positive for cannabinoids when involved in fatal crashes.

Other than marijuana, stimulants (methamphetamine, cocaine, and prescription ADHD medications), depressants (benzodiazepines1 and barbiturates), and narcotics (fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, and others) are major factors in fatal crashes in 2015.

How much of a factor? Let’s take a look at the statistics.

 

Marijuana the major culprit behind fatal crashes involving all drivers in 2015

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported that there was a 9 percent increase in fatalities for all drivers involved in fatal crashes between 2014 and 2015.

Of the 48,613 drivers involved in a fatal crash in 2015 – 14.1 percent were tested positive for at least one drug. The top drugs that resulted in a positive drug test were:

  • Cannabinoids = 7.0 percent (9 percent more people than in 2014)
  • Stimulants = 4.8 percent
  • Depressants = 4.0 percent
  • Narcotics = 3.7 percent

 

The trucking industry saw an 8 percent increase in fatal crashes year over year

The trucking industry gathers data from several sources when it comes to drug testing. The most important data affecting trucking companies is the national survey of controlled substances random test data in FMCSA's Management Information System (MIS) that measures the positive rate for controlled substances 1.0 percent threshold. The current minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is 25 percent of all driver positions.

However, this data does not go into details of where these positive rates come from. To dig deeper into the details, the NHTSA collects more specific data, especially when it comes to fatal crashes. This data is used in FMCSA’s Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts reports and to help states, with a dataset for describing crashes of motor vehicles in transport, to improve highway safety within each state and nationwide.

The latest Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report found that the number of trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 8 percent from 2014 to 2015 and that there were 3,996 truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2015. Interestingly, 60 percent of all fatal accidents involving trucks occurred on rural roads, while 25 percent were on interstate highways.

Of the 3,996 truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2015 – 4.6 percent (185) tested positive for at least one drug. The top drugs that resulted in a positive drug test were:

  • Stimulants = 1.8 percent (23 percent more drivers than in 2014)
  • Cannabinoids = 1.5 percent (21 percent more drivers than in 2014)
  • Narcotics = 1.0 percent
  • “Other” Drugs = 2.0 percent

 

Not Happy With Your TPA Or Don't Have A Consortium? 

expect more from your tpa ebookCleanFleet is a Best-In-Class TPA with the experience, training, staff, and certifications/accreditations needed to handle your company’s Drug Testing Program. Having a 3rd party that specializes in making sure your drug testing program follows state and federal rules and regulations relieves the burden of the following tasks:

  • Managing multiple vendor relationship (such as collection sites, labs, and Medical Review Officers)
  • Vetting new vendors and collection sites
  • Chasing paperwork and chain-of-custody forms
  • Data entry and storing documents
  • Managing the random testing employee pool
  • Staying up-to-date on new state or federal guidelines (like how legal recreation or medical marijuana may affect you company’s testing policy)
  • And more.

Learn More about our Consortium

 

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10 Apr, 17

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