Frequently Asked Questions About The Medical Requirements to Drive a Truck

When truck drivers crash on the roads of Virginia and elsewhere, a medical condition is often a cause of the accident.

We have represented clients who have been hurt by drivers who had untreated sleep apnea or another condition such as diabetes. In some cases, a trucker’s medical condition may have resulted in the death of another driver in Hampton Roads.

Medical conditions can stop you driving a truck

Medical conditions can stop you driving a truck

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets out detailed question and answers on medical requirements for truckers in the United States.

Here are some frequently asked questions.

1 Are Commercial Truck Drivers Subjected to Eye Tests?

Yes.  Truckers are subjected to mandatory vision tests before they can drive. The standards are set out here.

2 I operate a commercial vehicle in the United States but live outside the country. Can I use a foreign medical certificate?

Yes if you live in Canada or Mexico.

3 Do commercial vehicle drivers have to be CPR certified?

No. There is no requirement for CPR certification.

4 What Medications Disqualify a Commercial Truck Driver?

A truck driver cannot take a controlled substance or prescription medication without a prescription obtained from a licensed practitioner.  A driver cannot use a drug that’s listed as a controlled substance or amphetamine, a narcotic, or another habit forming drug. Use of these drugs medically disqualifies a trucker from getting behind the wheel of a big rig.

5 Is Meniere's Disease a Disqualifying Condition for Truckers?

Yes. This disease is associated with severe and unpredictable bouts of dizziness.

6 Is Narcolepsy Disqualifying?

Guidelines recommend  a CMV driver with a diagnosis of Narcolepsy should be disqualified, regardless of treatment because of the likelihood of falling asleep during the day.

7 Are There Hearing Requirements to Drive a Commercial Vehicle?

Yes. The test requires a driver to be able to hear a  forced whispered voice at not less than five feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or if tested by use of an audiometric device, the driver should not have an average hearing loss in the better ear more than 40 decibels at 500Hz, 1000HZ and 2,000 Hz.

8 Will Epilepsy Affect My Ability to Drive a Truck?

Yes. Epilepsy is a condition that can lead to seizures and is a disqualifying condition. There is a waiver provision which allows drivers to challenge their disqualification if they are not deemed to be a danger.

Notwithstanding these fairly stringent federal rules about medical conditions for truckers, ill health remains endemic in the trucking industry and often contributes to terrible crashes. If you have been injured in a truck crash in Virginia or elsewhere please call us today for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.

Bill O'Mara

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