Commercial Vehicle Drivers Must Use Certified Medical Examiners
To lawfully operate commercial vehicles in the United States, interstate commercial vehicle drivers and carriers must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). One of these guidelines requires all drivers to receive a physical exam every 24 months, which includes divulging their medical history on the Medical Examination Report of Commercial Driver Fitness Determination form. Certain conditions disqualify individuals from driving, including hearing loss, vision loss, epilepsy, and insulin-dependent diabetes.
Previously, semi-truck drivers could obtain a medical certificate from the physician or health care provider of their choice. Beginning May 21, 2014, however, the FMCSA now requires commercial drivers to see providers who are Certified Medical Examiners listed on the FMCSA’s National Registry of approved health care professionals. Physical exams conducted by non-approved providers no longer satisfy the medical exam requirement.
Before the new regulation was put in place, commercial truck drivers could obtain a biannual medical exam from health care providers with uncertain qualifications. With 2 million tractor trailers operating on U.S. interstates, the new regulation is designed to ensure that the public is protected. Because truck accidents can be so devastating, it’s important to strengthen the regulations that govern the trucking industry.