Requirements to Operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle

Requirements to Operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle

So, you were involved in a motor vehicle crash. Worse yet, you were involved in a crash that involved a commercial motor vehicle! When such an unfortunate incident occurs, there are so many questions that must be answered. This blog will concentrate on the requirements a truck driver must meet to become medically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require that all commercial truck drivers have a physical examination by a health care professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners before being allowed to operate a commercial motor vehicle. The medical professionals listed on the NRCME are all trained to equivalent standards, so they know what requirements must be met before certifying an individual to drive. The Department of Transportation has established some disqualifying medical conditions that may take certain truck drivers off the road, but such conditions may not be a permanent roadblock for the driver or potential employer.

So why are DOT medical examinations necessary? Commercial drivers spend hours each day behind the wheel of an enormous vehicle. Driving a commercial motor vehicle is both a physically and mentally demanding job, which requires a certain level of fitness. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires medical physicals not only for the well-being of the truck driver, but also to ensure the safety of others using the same roadways.

So, what is a disqualifying medical condition? These conditions include anything that may lead to the loss of consciousness and/or involve inadequate hearing or vision, a compromised nervous system and/or physical limitations that interfere with driving ability. Drivers who are able to resolve a disqualifying medical condition are allowed to re-seek certification. Here are some disqualifying medical conditions that would prohibit an individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle. This is not an exhaustive list and drivers may seek exemptions if some of these conditions are medically under control: 

a)      Certain heart conditions;

b)     Epilepsy or other conditions that can result in loss of consciousness;

c)      Inner ear diseases or disorders that can cause vertigo or other balance issues; 

d)     Diabetes, high blood pressure and respiratory conditions;

e)     Vision and/or hearing loss; and

f)       Marijuana use even if prescribed by a physician.

If you or your loved one was involved in a crash involving a tractor trailer, please call the experience trucking attorneys at Bordas & Bordas so we can discuss the circumstances surrounding the crash, perform an investigation and make a determination concerning your legal rights and the best way to pursue justice on your behalf! One of the things we will investigate is whether the trucking company took the necessary steps to ensure their driver was medically qualified to drive the tractor trailer. We will also investigate the health history of the driver and determine if he was medically fit to be behind the wheel.