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Hair testing gets further support in trucking industry

Illinois residents might be interested in news about expected changes in the trucking industry. In an effort to find more effective methods for drug testing of drivers, five senators are pressuring the Department of Health and Human Services to issue official guidelines for using hair instead of urine for drug testing. Their concern, the senators explained, is that the lack of guidelines has prevented the Department of Transportation from issuing approval of this drug testing method for the trucking industry.

Hair testing has also received support from within the industry itself as a way to prevent semi truck accidents. The American Trucking Association, for example, issued a statement about its support of the method, citing its clear advantages, which can include identifying employees who might represent a safety risk due to drug use before the accident occurs. In December of 2015, the FAST Act highway bill was passed, which required the Department of Health and Human Services to establish the guidelines for hair testing. The HHS was given one year to do this, but had not complied.

Seven members of the House of Representatives have also offered support for the hair testing method and sent a petition to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seeking permission for several large trucking companies to begin using hair testing exclusively with their employees. The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that urine testing should be phased out and hair testing should be mandated instead by the Department of Transportation.

The new testing method might have significant impact on the number of accidents caused by impaired truck drivers, but collisions will continue to be caused by truckers who are distracted or speeding. Victims of these types of accidents might decide to seek compensation for the damages incurred, and the may want to have the assistance of an attorney when doing so.

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