Should Commercial Truckers Be Tested for Synthetic Marijuana?

Impaired driving is a factor is nearly one-third of all fatal accidents in the United States, according the Center for Disease Control  in Atlanta. 4 While the majority of these accidents involve alcohol and so-called recreational drugs for which drivers are tested, there is increasing concern about the use of synthetic drugs that mimic the effect of marijuana.

What is synthetic marijuana?

Attorney Eric Hageman
Attorney Eric Hageman has successfully represented clients in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against some of the largest trucking companies in the United States. He has obtained several multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for his clients. You can contact him with our free consultation form.

So-called synthetic marijuana is made by spraying synthetic, laboratory-made substances that mimic the effects of cannabis (marijuana) onto an herbal base. These substances can also be inhaled as vapor in e-cigarettes. 3 There is no legislation currently prohibiting the sale or use of these “designer drugs.” They are frequently marketed as “spice product” and can be found at specialty stores around the United States. Current drug tests for cannabis do not detect the use of synthetic marijuana, as the metabolite created by these synthetic drugs is different from that created by using marijuana. Although using synthetic marijuana is not illegal, it IS illegal to operate a motor vehicle while impaired (by any substance) in all 50 U.S. states.

The NHTSB weighs in on synthetic marijuana

The National Highway Traffic Safety Board (NHTSB) has expressed concern about the prevalence of synthetic marijuana use among commercial truckers. 1 Just last month, the agency made two strong recommendations to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The move was spurred, in part, by a horrific truck-related accident in Oklahoma, where a commercial truck hit a bus, killing four members of the North Central Texas College women’s softball team and injuring five others. 2, 5 The truck driver in this accident was suspected of using synthetic marijuana while on the road.

The NHTSB has asked the FMCSA to determine how widespread the use of synthetic marijuana use is among commercial truckers and to create a plan for curbing the use of this substance. They have also asked that the FMCSA to work with others in the commercial trucking industry to formulate a plan to address drivers using impairing substances, such as synthetic marijuana, that aren’t currently covered under today’s drug testing protocols.

Should you file a wrongful death suit?

In 2012, more than 1.2 million drivers were arrested in the United States for driving while impaired and more than 10,000 people lost their lives that year as a result of an accident where a driver was impaired. 4 If someone you love has been killed in this type of accident, you need someone to help represent the interests of the family and those people who depended on the deceased.

The truck accident attorneys at our law firm can help you sort through all of the information and advice you’ve received to ascertain the facts of the accident that resulted in the death of your family member. We offer a free consultation so we can learn a little bit about your situation and your needs as well as the accident. Only then will we know how best we can help you. If we decide to work together, we won’t just rely on the police reports. We’ll conduct our own thorough investigation, so we can all find out as much as possible about what really happened on that fateful day. We firmly believe that a detailed understanding of the accident is the best way for us to hold those responsible accountable for the results of their actions. If the situation warrants it, we will proceed to filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Call us at 888 377-8900 to get started.



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