It’s one thing to get licensed to drive a car and another to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). There is a greater responsibility involved which is why a DOT physical exam is necessary.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires commercial drivers to pass physical exams before they can be issued DOT medical certificates. Those will serve as proof that they are capable of operating large commercial motor vehicles safely.
Certified medical examiners perform DOT physicals on anyone who drives a commercial vehicle that:
- Carries 9 to 15 passengers
- Travels across state lines
- Weighs 10,001 pounds and up
- Transport hazardous materials in certain quantities
Department of Transportation physicals are mandatory. They can only be performed by a medical examiner listed in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) National Registry. Such services are available in urgent care centers, walk-in clinics, and even in hospitals.
Commercial drivers should go through it because not only will it keep them DOT-certified but it offers other benefits, too.
Road safety for everyone
Injuries and deaths from car crashes are a huge public health concern. The good news is that they are highly preventable. One way to prevent vehicular accidents is getting a DOT examination.
If you drive commercial vehicles that carry passengers, you are responsible for the safety of those people. If you are driving a large and fully-loaded vehicle, keep in mind that you share the road with other drivers. You have to meet health standards and pass a written road skills test to keep you and others safe from crashes.
Monitor driver’s health
Going through a walk-in physical exam is a great way to keep track of your health. Medical examiners may be able to catch any possible health issues early. Minor conditions would be detected and get treated before they get worse.
Most truck and bus drivers are too busy to get check-ups regularly. Regular physical examinations are opportunities to record and monitor weight, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), symptoms, and update medical history.
Encourage a healthy lifestyle
A medical examiner will suggest treatment and lifestyle modifications during or after the entire exam. Unhealthy behaviors need to be addressed to make sure that a commercial driver’s health is in tip-top shape.
A driver must stay active, opt for healthier food choices, get enough sleep, and minimize smoking and alcohol intake. Some drivers may be required to wear prescription glasses or hearing aids to be able to drive more efficiently. All these may significantly affect the capability of a driver to operate commercial vehicles and maintain good judgment on the road.
Immunization record update
Acquiring or developing serious diseases could jeopardize your chances of getting a DOT medical certificate. In order to stay safe and disease-free, your vaccination record should be complete.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that most serious diseases can easily be prevented by vaccination. Please contact your nearby certified medical examiner for recommended immunizations that are appropriate for your age, lifestyle, and health status.