As many as half of the driver qualification files motor carriers keep are incomplete or inaccurate, according to a survey of trucking customers by LexisNexis.
Those driver files, required by the Department of Transportation, either lack necessary documents or have records that were completed incorrectly, the company said in its first annual Commercial Driver Safety Report, released Monday.
"It could be something as simple as missing a signature, or it could be something substantial, like a revoked drivers license," said Hayley Hitchcock, director of vertical strategy at LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
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Driver qualification files will become even more important to carriers under the DOT's Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 initiative, Hitchcock said.
"Where DQFs really come into play is in an audit," said Hitchcock.
"We recommend the industry go through the process of completing an internal risk assessment, especially if they are a very paper-based organization."
The driver safety report also noted a marked increase in the use of phencyclidine or PCP among those truck drivers who test positive for illegal drug use.
PCP use accounted for 2.4 percent of all positive drug tests in 2010, compared with 1.9 percent in 2009 and 1.2 percent in 2008, LexisNexis reported.
Marijuana remained the most common drug, said Hitchcock, accounting for 66.6 percent of all positive tests conducted by LexisNexis Screening Solutions.
LexisNexis does business with thousands of trucking companies and completes more than 3 million drug screening tests a year, Hitchcock said.
Fewer than 2 percent of all LexisNexis drug tests prove positive, Hitchcock said.
The good news -- cocaine use declined among drivers who test positive for drugs, dropping nearly 41 percent since 2008 to 16.5 percent of all positives.
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org.