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Legal Blog

Medical Requirements for Truck Drivers

Operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) not only takes skill and know-how behind the wheel, but it also requires a sound body and mind that can withstand the physical and psychological demands of the job. Individuals who choose this career must abide by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s medical requirements for truck drivers to ensure their safety and that of other motorists on the road. Failure to do so unnecessarily puts lives at risk.

If either you or a loved one has been hurt in a trucking accident because of a driver’s negligence to comply with the law when it comes to the medical requirements for truck drivers, then contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500. Our Houston truck accident lawyers can help you manage a personal injury claim against the driver and/or their employer.

Meeting Truck Driver Medical Requirements

Federal law dictates carrier companies that operate fleet trucks, Certified Medical Examiners (CMEs), and truck drivers must each take responsibility when it comes to making certain drivers meet medical requirements.

Although a driver could previously select and receive a valid medical certificate from the healthcare provider of their choice, they must now select a provider from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. This database includes the names of physicians, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, and physician assistants who possess the specific training and testing necessary to skillfully examine truckers. The Registry verifies a provider’s extensive knowledge of the medical requirements for the profession, including if a driver can safely operate a CMV.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a carrier company to inform a CME of the minimum medical requirements a driver must meet for the type of work they are expected to undertake. This information allows a CME to know the functions of a driver to determine if a specific medical condition would prohibit the ability to perform it. A CME cannot dictate a driver’s duties, but refusal to sign a Medical Examiner’s Certificate makes an unwillingness to medically clear a truck driver apparent.

CMV Driver Medical Requirements

Thirteen of the qualifications the FMCSA requires for a CMV driver relate to the driving function. To summarize those 13 qualifications, eligibility to drive a CMV requires a driver has:

  1. No loss of a foot, a leg, a hand, or an arm, or has been granted a skill performance evaluation certification
  2. No impairment of a hand or a finger that interferes with power grasping as well as no impairment of an arm, a foot, or a leg and no other limb defect that interferes with the ability to perform normal tasks associated with operating a CMV
  3. No diagnosis of diabetes that requires insulin maintenance
  4. No diagnosis of cardiovascular disease known to be accompanied by, for example, collapse or cardiac failure
  5. No diagnosis of a respiratory dysfunction
  6. No diagnosis of high blood pressure that interferes with operating a CMV
  7. No diagnosis of rheumatic, arthritic, orthopedic, muscular, neuromuscular, or vascular disease that interferes with operating a CMV
  8. No diagnosis of epilepsy or any other condition that could cause loss of consciousness
  9. No mental, nervous, organic, or psychiatric disorder that interferes with operating a CMV
  10. Distant vision acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye without corrective lenses or corrected to at least 20/40 with corrective lenses
  11. First perception of a whispered voice in the better ear at not less than five feet, with or without a hearing aid
  12. Not used any drug or substance defined as a narcotic, an amphetamine, or other habit-forming drug as well as not used any prescription drug except when advised by a licensed medical practitioner to do so in a manner that will not interfere with operating a CMV
  13. No diagnosis of alcoholism

Our Houston Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You

A truck driver’s failure to meet medical requirements affects their ability to operate a CMV. Losing control of that vehicle puts others’ lives in jeopardy and can lead to injuries and/or death. A truck driver who is not medically cleared to operate a CMV might also suffer the same consequences.

No one deserves to suffer physically and emotionally because a truck driver’s negligence causes a highway crash. The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can make certain you recover the losses you incur if this happens. Call us at (281) 283-8500 to schedule a free consultation.