Eastern Iowa truck drivers react to drunk/drug study - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa truck drivers react to drunk/drug study


Truck drivers are sounding off after a study says worldwide, over half of them are drinking alcohol on the job. In a study published by the BMJ group, researchers in Brazil analyzed several studies from around the world that looked at the drug and alcohol habits of truck drivers.

Hawkeye Community College instructor Marty Kroenecke has been in the trucking business for a while.

"I've been on the road since 1975," said Kroenecke.

He says in the 70's and 80's drug and alcohol use contributed to a large percentage of fatal accidents among large commercial vehicles.

He says things are different now. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2010 it was only two percent.

In fact, every driver now has to go through testing before he or she is employed.

"Once a driver is hired by a company they have to immediately become part of a random drug and alcohol testing program which mandates that 25 percent of all drivers be tested for drugs every year and ten percent of all drivers be tested for alcohol use while on the job," said Kroenecke.

Kroenecke says recently the Department of Transportation came out with a new ruling. It now tracks every driver and every positive drug test so drivers can no longer get away with testing positive at one company and applying to another company.

Kroenecke says at the Hawkeye Regional Transportation Training Center they spend time talking about the effects of drugs and alcohol on driving.

"In the very first two days of our class we go through a complete seminar on drug and alcohol abuse and not only what it does to the body but what it can do to your profession," said Kroenecke.

They have also invested in four simulators that put you behind the wheel, even drunk.

"They found out that they can't control this vehicle no matter what they do they can't keep it in any given situation," said Kroencke.

The study done by researchers in brazil included drivers from Australia, the U.S., Pakistan, and brazil.

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