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Want to stop preventable truck accidents? “Every trucking company should drug test their drivers without notice…”

October 27, 2010 by Steven M. Gursten

Reader comments that drug testing stops truck accidents in Michigan

Our truck accident lawyers have gotten more feedback from our many discussions about truckers and substance abuse. This reader preferred to remain anonymous, but she had some great points as far as regulating drug testing and truck drivers who decide to break the law. She was responding to our blog, “200,000 truck drivers suspected of using drugs and alcohol.”

Here’s what she had to say:

“I think EVERY tucking company in Michigan should have to drug test their drivers without notice at least once a month – if not every week. Then you start fining these companies. If their drivers are on the road and cause a truck accident/wrongful death, make the fines stiff enough so they would think twice about not drug testing. Then start checking their log books because if they’re doing drugs and alcohol, you know they are cheating on their log books too. In other words, if they are doing foil or crank/meth, they are running anywhere from two to 20 hours on that. That means they are running on four hours of sleep. How safe is that ? Think about the laws and the safety of the OTHER drivers on the road. If those truckers want to be stupid and kill themselves, then so be it. But they are putting other peoples’ lives on the line when they do and get away with it.”

This reader actually touched on a handful of other points our truck accident lawyers write about. Truckers falsifying log books, truck driver fatigue and truck companies pushing the limits when it comes to federal truck safety rules.

Thanks for the comment, and for the concern for the safety of our Michigan drivers. We strongly agree that drug testing standards need to be tightened and enforced more strongly. Until then, there will continue to be more and more preventable truck accidents.

Steven Gursten is a partner of Michigan Auto Law and one of the most renowned truck accident lawyers in the country. He is past president of the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation Group, and has received the top-reported trial verdict in Michigan for truck accidents. Steve was named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law for his efforts in promoting truck safety.

Related information:

What you must know about truck accident cases

Bad trucking companies in Michigan

If truckers were healthier, there might be fewer truck accidents

Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit to better serve you. Call (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation from one of our truck accident lawyers, anytime.

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3 Replies to “Want to stop preventable truck accidents? “Every trucking company should drug test their drivers without notice…””

  1. Wow, this letter scared the daylights out of me! Not having a trucking background, it wouldn’t occur to me that truckers might be tempted to use drugs to stay awake so they can drive more. Random drug testing sounds like a really really good idea.

  2. drivers have mandatory testing within Department of Transportation guidelines. Random drug testing has been happening for years. It’s the companies with shoty hiring policies and no follow up for bare bottom pay that you have to worry about.

  3. Thanks for your comment, Dan. Remember, this was a reader’s comment from an earlier blog I had written. There are two problems here: one, as you point out, is that it is the bad trucking companies cutting corners on safety and on experienced safe truck drivers who are putting many of these truckers with too many accidents and past histories of drug and alcohol abuse behind the wheel because it saves them money over hiring safer and more experienced drivers. The second problem is that random drug testing is not a serious deterrent.

    As a lawyer, I’ve been handling serious truck accident cases for almost 20 years. They rarely test for drugs and alcohol even after a serious truck crash has occurred. And, in today’s world of overstretched budgets and cutting back on enforcement, the word “random” is becoming synonymous with “never.”

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