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What Health Conditions Would Disqualify Me From Being A Trucker

 September 4, 2014  /  Comments Off on What Health Conditions Would Disqualify Me From Being A Trucker

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For most truckers, there are some conditions that you cannot afford to have or develop. Truckers who have these conditions are typically disqualified and have to seek employment elsewhere.

Not because they are bad at their job, it is just because the regulatory and monitoring boards think that their conditions can put other road users at risk. As a trucker, therefore, if you love your job and enjoy being on the road so much, you might want to be careful about developing any of the following medical conditions.

What Health Conditions Would Disqualify Me From Being A Trucker

Acute Cardiovascular Disease

Any trucker with severe cardiovascular diseases such as thrombosis, acute myocardial infarction, coronary insufficiency, atherosclerosis, and angina pectoris are deemed a danger to themselves and other road users. According to a 1965 study, drivers who have acute CVDs were twice as likely to crash and cause accidents as other healthier road users.

Considering that a trucker drives at the very least, a medium sized rig, this can pose a significant danger on the road if they were to go into heart failure or have a heart attack behind the wheels in a busy interstate road.

Epilepsy and Seizures

Epilepsy and seizures are another group of ailments that will disqualify a driver from driving trucks during a routine Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination. It does not matter that the person has been on epileptic treatment and pills and has had no epileptic episode in years, once found, they will probably lose their commercial driving license (CDL).

This, in no small part, is due to a series of studies carried out by several organizations and bodies. In fact, one of such studies posits that truckers living with epilepsy are 1.3-2 times more likely to be involved in a crash. However, another more recent 1991 study indicated that drivers with epilepsy pose just a little more danger to road users than the standard road user.

As a result, the study recommended that drivers who can manage their epilepsy should be allowed to drive commercially. Unfortunately, the DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety and Administration (FMCSA) policies do not take that study into consideration and are pretty inflexible about easing up on this policy.

Extreme High Blood Pressure

It is a well-known fact that high blood pressure is likely to interfere with a trucker’s ability to navigate successfully and operate his truck. The policy is hinged on the knowledge that truckers with high blood pressure could have a heart attack at any moment while behind the wheels. This and the fact that the lifestyle on the road further contributes to poor heart health is a cause for alarm. So, truckers with extremely blood pressure readings over 180/110 are automatically disqualified.

Poor Hearing and Visual Problems

Even with a history and track record of safe driving without any tickets, drivers who are discovered to have hearing and visual problems like monocular vision are automatically disqualified from driving commercial trucks interstate as they are considered a danger to other road users.

Diabetes Patients Requiring Insulin Shots

Truckers with advanced diabetes who require consistent insulin to keep them going are at risk of getting their CDLs withdrawn, and they are disqualified from driving commercially. This is because high blood sugar can cause blurry vision and dizziness which can in turn result in the loss of control of their rig.

Thankfully, there’s an exemption clause for drivers. In order to qualify for an exemption or a revisit of their case, a trucker will need to drive for at least three years while on insulin without any incident. Even then, it can be tough to get your license back.

Other common conditions that can result in the withdrawal of a trucker’s license include acute or chronic sleep apnea, Meniere’s Disease, limb amputation, and many neurological conditions.

Sources:

www.gao.gov/new.items/d08826.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217381/#b16-aam44_p335

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217381/#b9-aam44_p335

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217381/#b16-aam44_p335

Oscar King is a former trucker who recently lost his license to a condition of his own, and now writes on the side while he works to reclaim his career. To get recertified, he plans to go to a doctor recommended by DriverPhysicals.com. You can learn more about Oscar by visiting on Google+.

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  • Published: 3 years ago on September 4, 2014
  • Last Modified: September 4, 2014 @ 5:08 am
  • Filed Under: Business, Education

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