Commercial truck drivers are required by law to maintain specific health standards. Whether this is your first DOT physical exam, or you have been driving a commercial truck for years, there are several steps you can take to prepare yourself for a successful DOT physical.
Requirements to Pass the DOT Physical Exam
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has developed a set of health standards that must be met in order to begin or continue one’s career as a commercial truck driver. Standards must be met in the following areas:
- Blood Pressure
- Chronic Disease Risks
- Other Health Vitals
Chronic Illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, hearing, or other impairments are not a bar from passing the exam. The key is that you have these conditions under control with your physician with the use of medications or other aids.
DOT Drug Screen Requirement
In addition to the physical, you will also need to be prepared to pass a drug screen. You must sustain from drugs completely, as this drug screen can detect even small traces of illicit drugs. The DOT drug test will check for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and PCP. Regular drug and alcohol screenings will take place throughout a driver’s career.
How to Prepare for Your DOT Physical Exam
You must take several steps to be sure that your current health will pass the DOT physical exam. Your career depends on keeping yourself healthy enough to meet these safe driving standards.
- See your physician prior to the DOT physical exam. Your doctor can determine that all your current medications are performing as your body needs them to be. The doctor can make sure you have your blood pressure, blood sugar, and any other pre-existing conditions under control.
- You must continue to eat and exercise an adequate amount. This is something that drivers hear often, but still tend to overlook. Exercise and a balanced diet are critical factors in keeping your body healthy and safe on the roadways.
- Rest. Be sure to get plenty of rest before your DOT physical exam. Additional stress on the body, including inadequate sleep will only hurt your vitals on the day of the physical exam.
As stressful and sometimes frustrating that the DOT physical exam can be for commercial truck drivers, these exams are a critical way to keep the employee and other cars safe on the road. It is important for your career, health, and mental well-being to complete these steps and pass your DOT exam every time.
Visit a Local Urgent Care Center
For a speedy alternative to the traditional DOT exam, visit your local urgent care center today. There are affordable options available to help keep you on the roads. Call a local office or stop in for more information.