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Are More Truck Drivers Stoned on the Road?

July 8, 2019|POSTED BY cainfirm
Texas Truck Accident Attorney DUI

Semi-trucks are massive vehicles on our roadways, and the last thing you probably want to contemplate is whether or not the truck drivers behind the wheels of these giant trucks are stoned. However, as cannabis laws loosen up all around the country, this concern becomes more and more real. State cannabis laws are complicated by the fact that cannabis remains illegal – in every capacity – at the federal level. If an impaired truck driver leaves you injured in an accident, consult with an experienced Bedford truck accident lawyer today.

The Legalization of Cannabis 

When it comes to the legalization of cannabis, the people have spoken – and continue to speak. In fact, more than 30 states and the District of Columbia already have medical marijuana laws on their books; 13 states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana; and nine states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Over-the-road truckers haul from state to state, and as such, have increased access to legal cannabis purchases. Because the feds classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug – the most restrictive classification – however, truck drivers are allowed to neither use nor transport marijuana.

The Trucking Industry and Cannabis Concerns

The Heavy Duty Trucking website shares the American Trucking Industry’s concerns related to newly expansive cannabis laws:

  • A recent study published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute found a 5.2 percent increase in crashes in those states that have legalized recreational marijuana. 
  • As yet, there is no clear-cut process for measuring impairment as it relates to cannabis usage.
  • Determining the amount of alcohol found in a cocktail, a beer, or a glass of wine is fairly straightforward, but this is not true of determining the amount of THC in different strains and forms of marijuana, including edibles. 

The Bigger Picture

Heavy Duty Trucking goes on to share that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations apply to commercial truckers, and their testing generally finds that less than one percent of truckers test positive for drugs and alcohol (with random testing). This likely doesn’t tell the entire story, however. A major diagnostics firm evaluated both random and non-random testing results for different industry sectors and discovered several startling truths:

  • The transportation and warehousing sector saw the largest increase in positive tests results for drugs and alcohol overall.
  • A significant portion of this increase was due to increased positives for marijuana.
  • The rate of positive tests for marijuana rose by 33 percent.

Further, many experts believe that the urine analysis used in this testing is woefully inadequate and likely only picks up on a fraction of those truckers who are stoned behind the wheel. 

If an Impaired Trucker Leaves you Injured, You Need an Experienced Bedford, Texas, Truck Accident Lawyer on Your Side

Truck accidents are among the most deadly on our roadways. If an impaired trucker leaves you injured, the dedicated truck accident lawyers at Cain Firm in Bedford, Texas, are on your side. Our experienced legal team has the knowledge, compassion, and commitment to skillfully advocate for the compensation to which you are entitled. For more information, please contact or call us at (817) 573-4300 today.


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