OOIDA Says Hair Testing Will Not Stop Truck Driver Crashes

With the possible implementation of hair testing for truck drivers, the OOIDA argues that it is ineffective and costly.

The Owner-Operated Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) issued a response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' guidelines on the use of hair testing in federal drug testing programs on November 9, according to LandLine.

The OOIDA argues that hair testing will not reduce the number of car crashes in the trucking industry. It is reported that in 2018, 305 of the year’s 33,654 fatal car crashes involved drivers of trucks who weighed at least 10,000 pounds and received at least one positive drug test.

“Hair tests can lead to false positive results because certain drugs can be absorbed into the hair,” said the OOIDA. “While any fatality is too many, it is unlikely that requiring hair testing will reduce that percentage.”

In addition to the issue of false positives, the OOIDA says that hair testing is costly and presents biases based on hair texture and color. It is also less effective than urinalysis.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must approve the Department of Health and Human Services guidelines on hair testing before they are applied to truck drivers.

About the Author

Nikki Johnson-Bolden is an Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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