ATA Calls On Media ‘To Stop Inaccurate, Sensationalized Reporting’ of Study

ATA Calls On Media 'To Stop Inaccurate, Sensationalized Reporting' of Study

Last week, a study was released in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine that claimed a large number of truck drivers, worldwide, frequently abused drug and alcohol while behind the wheel.

CDLLife did not report on this biased and skewed study that reported that up to 53% of truck drivers admitted to consuming alcohol and drugs while on the job.

“To reach their conclusion, the researchers found 36 relevant studies – 28 of which had been carried out in countries with a large land area, such as Australia, the US, and Brazil, and 23 of these studies obtained their data through surveys rather than biological samples,” RedOrbit reported.

The study was conducted by the Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Brazil. Allegedly, the study’s findings were based on self-reporting and biological testing of drivers from in Latin America, Australia and the United States.

Today, the ATA called on the media “to stop their inaccurate and sensationalized reporting on a so-called ‘study’ claiming that a number of commercial truck drivers use drugs or alcohol while behind the wheel.”

“We know from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that in the most recent year available – 2011 – the drug use violation rate for professional truck drivers was 0.9%, in other words, less than 1%. Similarly, the alcohol violation rate for U.S. truck drivers was .19% (less than one-fifth of one percent) in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves.

“These numbers show the strength of our industry’s commitment to safe highways and the hard work of law enforcement to root out bad actors that comprise a very small percentage of our industry.”

“When I recently assumed the role of chairman of American Trucking Associations, I said one of my primary aims was to increase the level of respect we have for our professional drivers,” said ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, S.C. “I can think of nothing more disrespectful than being tarred as a drug user or drunk driver based on inaccurate reporting and a specious study. The outlets that ran with this story, and did not try to verify its accuracy with U.S. data, owe the millions of safe, dedicated drivers that deliver America’s most essential goods every day a sincere apology.”

According to the ATA:

Drug and alcohol use by truck drivers on the job is very rare.

– The industry alcohol use violation rate for 2008* was just .19% (i.e., less than a fifth of one percent).viii

– The industry drug use violation rate for 2011* was .9% (i.e., less than 1%).ix

– In 2011* the percentage of large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes that had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dl) or higher was only 1 percent.