New Study Shows Once Again Why Hair Testing for Drugs Is Superior

ICSA Platinum Membership requirements include the hair testing of drivers for drugs. Why? Because hair testing promotes safety… and it works! Here’s more proof:

A recent study by the University of Central Arkansas compared more than 936,000 truck driver pre-employment urine and hair test results. The tests results were submitted by motor carrier members of The Trucking Alliance, who, like ICSA Platinum Members, utilize hair testing as well as the federally mandated urine tests. University researchers looked at drug test failures from both testing methods.

Result: Urinalysis failed to detect 90% of the drug use revealed by hair testing.


  • Hair testing detected opioid use at a rate 25 times greater than discovered by urinalysis.
  • Cocaine was revealed by hair tests 23 times more often than by urine tests.
  • Amphetamines/methamphetamines were found thirteen times as often.
  • Marijuana was found five times more.
  • PCP three times more.
  • Ecstasy, though infrequent, was detected by hair testing 65 times as much as determined in urine tests.

Professional truck drivers are tested for each of these drugs because their presence in the driver’s system can affect perception, muscle control, clear thinking and reaction time – that is, because these drugs can lead to unsafe driving. Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved the use of oral fluids for drug testing, greatly facilitating immediate roadside tests in post-accident situations. Unfortunately, urinalysis and oral fluids testing only reveal drug use in the past one to three days. Hair testing can detect a pattern of drug use up to 90 days.

Highway safety and drug-free truck drivers go hand-in-hand. That’s why ICSA supports the federal approval of hair testing. And that’s why ICSA Platinum Membership includes hair testing as a requirement.

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