DOT / CDL Physicals

Before You Visit – Conversations You Should Have with Your Doctor

As a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) driver, you know you are driving a vehicle that is capable of causing serious harm. You understand that you are equally responsible for the safety of others, and driving a CMV is very different from driving a personal vehicle. It takes skill, knowledge, and a certain level of physical fitness beyond what is required for a passenger car.  As a CMV driver, you need to talk to your doctor about the type of work you do and the physical qualification requirements you must meet to safely operate a CMV.   Here are some questions and issues to help in this discussion with your doctor. 

  1. Tell your doctor what you do, job responsibilities, and the tasks you perform Be sure to include the driving and non-driving tasks, such as the inspections, load redistribution, the need to apply chains, etc. By doing this, your doctor will be able to make a better assessment of your health and performance of your job. 
  2. Ask what affects your injury or illness will have on your job What are the direct and indirect impacts on your ability to perform all driving and non-driving tasks safely? 
  3. Ask about your treatment Specifically, ask what you must undergo to relieve the symptoms or treat the disease and how the treatment may impact your ability to drive a CMV safely. 
  4. Talk to your doctor about alternative treatments Ask about equally effective alternate treatments that will not have an adverse impact on safe driving. Would any of these fit your driving requirements better? 
  5. Ask about the medications your doctor prescribes Will the side effects cause sleepiness, fatigue, drowsiness, lack of focus or concentration, or a decreased reaction time? Will the side effects interfere with safe driving? 
  6. Inform your doctor of the medications you are taking Identify prescription, non-prescription, dietary supplements, or herbal remedies, and discuss whether the medications will interact and cause any unsafe side effects. Some medications can interact with one another to cause serious adverse reactions and interfere with the effectiveness of another medication. Don't let your treatment be undone because your medication doesn't work properly! 
  7. Discuss the extent of treatment and how long you must take your medication 
  8. Ask what you can do to improve your chances for recovery Simple changes like, losing weight, exercising, stop smoking, drinking more water, improving your eating habits, or getting more sleep can make great improvements in your overall health.