How Does Marijuana Impact the Trucking Industry?November 18, 2019
When operating a massive, 80,000-pound commercial truck, it is imperative that the truck driver is awake and alert so that they can safely operate the vehicle and focus on the road ahead. If a truck driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their ability to maintain control of the vehicle is impaired. According to recent data, alcohol and marijuana both cause impairments, but marijuana stays in the system longer than alcohol. As more states are legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, the trucking industry is focusing on safety and how it will impact roads and highways across the country.
One of the challenges associated with marijuana is that it is difficult for law enforcement to confirm whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana because there is no effective test available. Police officers can easily determine if a motorist is under the influence of alcohol by using a breathalyzer. There is no comparable test available to determine whether a motorist has marijuana in their system. According to the chief medical officer for HireRight, an employee background screening service, marijuana causes users to remain impaired for a longer period. The marijuana lobby has suggested that pot is better for you than alcohol, but it is much worse from an occupational impairment perspective.
Trucking Industry Believes Safety Should be a Top Priority
A study by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has been investigating ways to prevent pot-impaired drivers from getting on the roads. Eleven states and the District of Columbia have already legalized recreational marijuana, and another 20 states have introduced legislation to do so. This makes it that much more challenging for trucks to safely drive across the country, knowing that they are sharing the roads with drivers who may be impaired. One way to combat drugged drivers from getting on the road is to hire drug recognition experts who are trained to identify people who are under the influence of marijuana.
According to a co-chairman of the American Trucking Association’s Controlled Substances, Health & Wellness Working Group in Nevada, employers cannot deny a prospective employee a job if they tested positive for marijuana during the screening process. He said, however, this does not apply to drivers, first-responders, or other safety-related businesses. He said that a growing number of employers in Nevada have stopped drug testing because too few applicants were able to pass the test.
Marijuana impairment is associated with poor judgment, slower reaction times, and decreased motor coordination. This can have devastating consequences, such as a truck accident. It can also have a negative impact on other aspects of the trucking business, including the warehouse, manufacturing plant, or distribution centers.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Truck Accident Victims
If you were injured in a truck accident involving a truck driver that was under the influence of marijuana, contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Protecting your rights is our top priority and we will continue to fight for you until we have secured the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, we represent clients throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.