Truckers hold differing opinions over potential hair follicle testing, poll reveals

A proposal to require hair drug testing for truck drivers is currently under consideration by federal authorities, and drivers are harboring differing opinions on the issue, a recent poll shows. 

On September 1st, the Drug Testing Advisory Board with the US Department of Health and Human Services submitted a hair testing proposal to the federal Register for publication, with the hopes that the public, including truck drivers, will be able to comment on the proposal in the near future. 

More than 1,000 drivers have offered their opinion on the matter through a poll conducted on the CDLLife App

“Do you think that companies should do hair follicle testing?” the poll asked. 

Of the 1,095 drivers who answered the poll, 40% responded ‘yes,’ 42% responded ‘no,’ and 18% responded that they were ‘indifferent’ to the proposed hair follicle testing. 

Some drivers voiced concerns about the overregulation of the industry and potential false positives.

Some commenters took the opposite stance, arguing that someone who cannot pass a drug test shouldn’t be driving. Meanwhile, those in the ‘indifferent’ camp commented that it really didn’t matter to them one way or the other – even making a point that hair-follicle testing would help those who are ‘bladder shy.’

Hair tests are apparently cheaper to administer and have a 30x longer detection period – up to 90 days vs up to three days for urine tests. 

Should hair-follicle testing become the standard for US truck drivers, somewhere around 300,000 drivers could fail the test and be out of a job, a recent study conducted by the University of Central Arkansas suggests.