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Medical Issues & Commercial Truck Drivers

Commercial truck drivers often find themselves facing the possibility of serious medical issues as they age. These issues have the potential to impact more than just their health – they can negatively impact their ability to drive safely and healthily. Trucking is not an easy profession, and the physical exhaustion, paired with mental stress, that are associated with the profession can also actually increase the medical issues in question.

Safety and Medical Conditions Related to Age

Drivers in charge of large commercial trucks often find themselves on the road for many long hours as well as plenty of heavy lifting when it comes to unloading and loading cargo. This is a profession that can prove difficult for even those who are in their prime and are physically healthy. When truck drivers begin to age, their risk of ending up with medical issues that impact their ability to safely do their job increases. This can also increase their chances of being injured on the job.

Some of the medical issues to be aware of in aging commercial truck drivers include:

  • Hearing and Vision Loss
  • Heart Disease
  • Bone Loss
  • Mental Disorders
  • Diabetes

Commercial Truck Drivers and Medical Requirements

Anyone driving a commercial motor vehicle that weighs 10,000 lbs. or more must meet a set of minimum physical requirements in order to work. That means that, unless you have been exempted under state or federal law, you must pass a medical exam performed by a licensed physician in order to ensure that you are physically and mentally capable of handling the unique stressors that commercial truck driving inflicts upon its drivers. Note that drivers in charge of commercial vehicles are subject to more rigorous mental and physical examinations and standards than individuals driving non-commercial vehicles.

In order to obtain your commercial driver’s license, also known as a CDL, you must receive a FMCSA Medical Examiner’s Certificate. This must be carried with you and renewed at least once every two years. Failure to maintain this certification or presenting falsified documentation about their mental and physical health could lead to a loss of employment and/or steep fines.