Were you aware that each month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) publishes data of violations entered into their Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse? With the program in motion for almost a year and a half, here are the most interesting bits of information.
To read the reports, including for months prior, go to the Clearinghouse’s webpage and scroll down. The data we are using for our summary is from the May 2021 report, published on June 30th, 2021.
Here are the most interesting pieces from the report:
- Since reporting started in January 2020, the Clearinghouse has over 80,000 different reported violations.
- The Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse is a lot more drug and a lot less alcohol; of the violations, only about 1,800 are related to alcohol use.
- “Actual knowledge of a violation”, wherein the driver’s carrier reports the use to the Clearinghouse, forms a small amount of all violations, about 2,100 in total.
- 2021 is currently on pace to have more violations than the year prior. For the first five months of the year (41.6%), 2021 has 24,532 violations (43.8%).
- By far and away the most common violation is the use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) marijuana. At 42,534 identified tests, the violations account for more than half of all entries in the Clearinghouse.
- The least common identified drug is methylenedioxyamphetamine, a cousin of ecstasy, at 43 occurrences.
- More trucking employers tends to lead towards more violations. Comparing each state, the number of employers and violating drivers correlates at .92. As such, it should not be surprising that the highest number of violations occurred amongst Texas, California, and Florida drivers.
- When factoring in the number of employers in each state, the District of Columbia is the “state” that parties the hardest, at 1.26 violations per employer. For actual states, the trophy goes to Louisiana at .74 violations per employer.
- To add to the previous point, North Dakota is the cleanest state of drivers at around .13 per employer.
- There were 73,609 total drivers with violations. How many had two or even three violations is undisclosed.
- Of the 73,609 drivers, 13,310 have performed the Return-to-Duty (RTD) process and are allowed to drive again. The remaining 81.9% of drivers are still in limbo, with almost two-thirds of all drivers having not begun the RTD process.
The statistics make some interesting points, such as how apparently most people when struck with a violation would rather exit the trucking workforce than complete the RTD process. Hopefully the FMCSA can make this process more streamlined without compromising road safety.
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