Commercial trucking companies rely heavily on their drivers to deliver goods safely and meet shipment schedules. They place a premium on monitoring and maintaining driver safety. While it may seem obvious why certain health conditions should preclude you from becoming a commercial driver, there are exceptions. Below, our regulation-savvy readers pointed out some of the primary health hurdles you might face, as well as a few suggestions on how to give yourself the best chance for clearing them to become a certified truck driver.
Seizure Disorders, Drug Dependency; Apply for FMCSA Waiver
A commercial driver’s license (CDL) in the United States cannot be obtained without first passing a medical examination mandated by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Although there are some medical issues that make a person ineligible to drive, this is not always the case.
The use of a disqualifying medication, epilepsy or seizure disorders, severe hearing or vision impairments, certain cardiovascular issues, certain mental health disorders, and a substance abuse or drug dependency are all examples of such conditions. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) and DOT medical certification may be denied to someone with one of these conditions.
There could be options for drivers who are at risk of being disqualified due to health problems. A driver may apply for a waiver or exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) under certain situations. Drivers seeking these exemptions may be asked to present further medical documents, establish compliance with particular criteria, or offer evidence of stability or abstinence from certain behaviors, such as substance misuse, for a set length of time.
Drivers who are affected must consult with their doctors and DOT medical examiners to find solutions for dealing with these issues while still meeting all applicable standards and regulations. Due to the fluid nature of regulations and eligibility criteria, commercial truck drivers with potentially disqualifying medical issues must remain informed and seek help from the proper authorities.
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