What Should I Know Before My DOT Physical

November 10, 2022

DOT Physical is short for the Department of Transportation Physical. It is like any other physical exam except that it’s tailored to ensure the safety of drivers and the general public. It tests the mental, emotional and physical health of anyone who drives or intends to take up commercial motor vehicle driving as an occupation. The DOT exam is conducted in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines. Its results are valid for up to two years. 

In this article, you will learn about the basics of the DOT exams that will help you prepare ahead.

Do I need a DOT exam? 

If you want to obtain and keep your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you need a DOT Physical.  

How is a DOT exam done?

DOT exams have many parts. Each of them is designed to ensure that you are in the best health to carry out your day-to-day responsibilities as a commercial driver. They consist of:

  •  Blood and Pulse Test

These tests check for any conditions that may affect your ability to sit behind the wheel for long hours. 

  • Urine Test

Urine tests usually check for substances like cocaine or marijuana, which may influence your judgment while on the road. 

  • Sight Test

You are allowed to use your visual aids like prescription glasses or contact lenses for this test. 

It’s recommended that you have 20/40 vision to pass a sight test. 

  • Hearing Test

You should also bring your hearing aids, if any, for this test. 

  • Physical examination

This exam will check your weight, breathing, and general body function. 

How do you pass a DOT exam?

People with conditions like epilepsy, high blood pressure, or heart disease may be disadvantaged in this regard. The exam requires you to have your mental health and extremities in good shape to ensure safety for you and other road users. 

Although some of the factors which affect this test are beyond your control, others are within your reach! 

Make your physical a success by following these tips. 

  • Prepare copies of all the required paperwork.
  • Stay hydrated and eat healthily.
  • Provide your medical professional with much detail about your health history. 
  • Be consistent with any medications given by your caregiver.
  • Abstain from unhealthy habits like smoking and illegal drug use.

Imagine that anyone, even people with poor eyesight or hearing, was allowed to handle heavy-duty trucks or transport passengers. Scary, right? The implication is that the lives of road users would be in jeopardy. This is why a DOT Physical is required to obtain a commercial driver’s licence. If you need a DOT physical fast then, visit a walk-in clinic as soon as possible. Remember to stay confident in your responses.

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