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What medical requirements must truck drivers meet?

Government at the state and federal levels recognize the injury risks associated with trucking accidents. While most people only hear about regulations aimed at preventing distracted, exhausted and intoxicated driving, the physical health of truck drivers is just as important as driving safely. As such, the law requires that all truck drivers in Tennessee and elsewhere meet certain requirements.

Before they receive a license to drive commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers, drivers must undergo a rigorous health screening. This helps weed out those who are not fit enough to operate a large, heavy vehicle. Some of the issues medical examiners will look for in these screenings include the following:

  • Hearing and vision problems
  • Signs of drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • Heart and respiratory problems
  • Damaged or missing limbs and digits
  • Signs of skeletal deformities
  • Problems with the nervous system and the brain

Examiners will also look at the current and background medical condition of the driver. Potential truck drivers with the following conditions may be denied a license.

  • Current cardiovascular illnesses
  • Clinical diagnosis or history of diabetes requiring insulin
  • Diagnosis or history of debilitating respiratory conditions
  • History or current diagnosis of epilepsy
  • Evidence of any physical impairment that may interfere with the safe operation of a large vehicle

It is safe to say that cheating on the medical and physical requirements associated with trucking would be difficult. However, if a trucking accident resulting in injury occurs, a look at the driver's current medical condition might uncover health issues. This could indicate negligence if the operator or trucking company knew about the driver's medical problems and did nothing to address these issues. A legal professional can help trucking accident victims pursue this kind of evidence.

Source: TruckingTruth, "DOT Physical - The Complete Guide," accessed March 21, 2018

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