What health issues can the DOT disqualify commercial vehicle drivers?

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One qualification of having a commercial driver’s license is being able to pass a physical exam. Because of the massive size and weight of commercial vehicles, it’s critical that these drivers can operate their rigs safely. The Department of Transportation physical is critically important for anyone who makes a living as a commercial driver. 

Some medical conditions can disqualify a person from being able to get their commercial driver’s license. Understanding these may be beneficial for anyone involved in this industry. 

Automatic Disqualifications

One of the primary medical conditions that can disqualify someone from being eligible for a CDL is substance dependency. Truckers must undergo drug testing and any positive test can lead to immediate disqualification. Even a history of alcoholism can lead to issues with getting a CDL.

People who have vertigo, vision loss or hearing loss will likely be disqualified from obtaining a CDL. Inner ear problems are also problematic because they can cause loss of balance. 

Uncontrolled Conditions

Some conditions that may disqualify someone from getting a CDL depend on whether the condition is under control. For example, a person who has controlled epilepsy may be able to receive an exemption so they can receive their CDL. Diabetes, heart conditions, hypertension and respiratory conditions can all lead to disqualification, but exemptions are possible. 

Trucking companies must ensure their truckers are all physically and mentally able to handle the job duties. Any trucker who has issues is risky because of the chance of crashing. Semitruck crashes are costly events, so it’s up to each company to take the necessary steps to protect the business.