If you are a professional truck or bus driver your employer may require that you have a Department of Transportation (DOT) Physical
What is a DOT Physical Exam?
A DOT physical exam is a necessary test for any individual hoping to get behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This examination makes sure that all commercial drivers are up to par in their daily health examinations and are at peak performance. It ensures that you or other CMV drivers are physically able to handle the long hours and stress of operating a commercial vehicle.
A DOT physical follows strict guidelines mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), ensuring that commercial drivers and other safety-sensitive employees are in good health to work safely.
What Does this Exam Consist of?
A DOT Physical evaluates a driver’s vision, blood pressure, and a complete review of their medical history. This can help ensure that a driver does not have certain health conditions and can safely operate a commercial vehicle.
Here are the different parts of a DOT Physical Exam
- Vision Test
Drivers are required to have at least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction. They are also required to have at least 70” peripheral in the horizontal meridian, measured in each eye.
- Hearing Test
Drivers must be able to perceive what is known as a “forced whisper” at a distance of 5ft or less, with or without a hearing aid. This standard equates to an average hearing loss in the better ear of less than 40 dB.
A urinalysis is required. The test looks for indications of underlying medical conditions such as diabetes.
- Blood Pressure/Pulse Rate
Check the driver’s blood pressure and pulse to look for high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats.
The physical exam will cover a dozen different categories:
- General appearance
- Eyes (cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.)
- Ears (scarring of the tympanic membrane, perforated eardrums, etc.)
- Mouth and throat (to look for problems breathing or swallowing)
- Heart (murmurs, extra sounds, pacemaker, etc.)
- Lungs and chest, not including breast examination (abnormal breathing, impaired respiratory functions, cyanosis, etc.)
- Abdomen and Viscera (enlarged liver, viscera, muscle weakness)
- Vascular (abnormal pulse, carotid, varicose veins)
- Genito-urinary (hernias)
- Extremities (limb impaired)
- Spine, other musculoskeletal (previous surgery, limitation of motion, tenderness, etc.)
- Neurological (impaired equilibrium, coordination or speech pattern, ataxia, asymmetric deep tendon reflexes)
The passing of a DOT physical gives drivers the certification to be behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle and this certification lasts between 3 months to 2 years dependent upon the health of the driver along with the possibility of not passing DOT Physical as a result of health conditions holding back the drivers from being at peak performance.
What Do I Need For My DOT Examination
When attending your DOT physical be prepared to supply any documents listing medication which have been administered by doctors in the past month. If in the scenario of a medical disability, please supply a medical release form to indicate your doctors’ approval to work with this condition.
You can receive a DOT Physical at Atlantic Medical Group in Canton with Dr. Barry Bradford for $75, cash payments only.
Don’t let this small check up hold you back, Atlantic Medical Group is here to make sure you are hitting the road performing at your peak performance.