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Amazon Driver Shortage: Will Stoned Couriers Cause Crashes to Increase in Peoria?


Following Amazon’s recent advice to its delivery partners not to screen potential drivers for marijuana, couriers are likely to cause accidents to increase in Peoria if they drive under the influence of the drug. Multiple studies have found marijuana to impair the skills needed for safe driving.


Amazon’s Controversial Solution to Driver Shortage


Amazon suggests hiring marijuana smokers to be a solution to the potentially crippling shortage of couriers. The company has advised its delivery partners, which operate its ubiquitous blue delivery vans, to tell applicants that they will not be screened for marijuana use in their job postings.


A driver shortage has been disrupting U.S. supply chains, mail services, and retailers. Amazon told its partners that dropping marijuana tests could boost job applications by as much as 400%. According to the company, the tests reduced applications by 30%. The company’s request to partners comes after its announcement in June that it would no longer screen job seekers for the drug.


The e-commerce giant will prohibit delivery associates who are impaired at work from performing services for the company — but only after they test positive after reasonable suspicion or after involvement in an accident.


Dangers of Marijuana Use While on the Job


Delivery companies are not too hasty to follow Amazon’s advice. Some are continuing to screen potential drivers. One of the primary worries of the companies is that stopping marijuana testing might prompt drivers to get high before hitting the road.


Studies have established a direct link between blood THC concentration to impaired driving ability. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main active ingredient in marijuana. One study has shown that in heavy users, impairment persists even long after the marijuana high.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that marijuana significantly impairs motor coordination, judgment, and reaction time, all of which are required for safe driving. New studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show a rise in overall accident rates after the relaxation of marijuana laws in different states.


Car accident lawyers handle many cases involving people driving while high. There are several ways the driver shortage can be remedied without compromising the safety of other road users. Some employers have used wage raises as a hiring incentive to address the shortage of workers. School bus companies often outbid Amazon delivery contractors. The delivery companies can address the shortage by raising wages, but that can only happen if Amazon is willing to pay the companies more.

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