If you’re a commercial driver, you’ve probably heard of D.O.T. Physicals. These are medical exams that are required by the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) to ensure the health and safety of drivers on the road. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about D.O.T. Physicals, including what they are, when you need them, and how to prepare for them.
What are D.O.T. Physicals?
D.O.T. Physicals are comprehensive medical exams that are designed to assess the physical and mental fitness of commercial drivers. These exams are required by law and are intended to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers, and other individuals on the road. During a D.O.T. Physical, a certified medical examiner will evaluate your medical history, perform a physical exam, and assess your ability to perform the essential functions of your job.
When do you need a D.O.T. Physical?
You’ll need to undergo a D.O.T. Physical if you operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that meets certain criteria. These criteria include:
- Vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds
- Vehicles that are designed to transport more than 8 passengers for compensation
- Vehicles that are designed to transport more than 15 passengers without compensation
- Vehicles that transport hazardous materials in quantities that require placards
If you operate any of these types of vehicles, you’ll need to undergo a D.O.T. Physical at least once every two years. Some drivers may need to undergo more frequent exams, depending on their medical history or other factors.
How to prepare for a D.O.T. Physical?
Before you undergo a D.O.T. Physical, there are a few things you can do to prepare. These include:
- Bring a list of your medications, including the dosages and the conditions they are prescribed for.
- Bring any necessary medical records, such as a letter from your primary care physician or a specialist.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that will allow for a full range of motion during the physical exam.
- Get a good night’s sleep before the exam and avoid caffeine or other stimulants that could raise your blood pressure.
During the physical exam, the medical examiner will evaluate your vision, hearing, blood pressure, and other vital signs. They will also test your reflexes, range of motion, and overall physical fitness. In addition, they may ask you questions about your medical history and any medications you are taking.
Need to book an appointment for a D.O.T. Physical? MTOEM provides physicals to commercial drivers! If you want to learn more click here!
Frequently Asked Questions about D.O.T. Physicals (FAQs):
Q: How long does a D.O.T. Physical take?
A: The length of a D.O.T. Physical can vary depending on the individual’s medical history and physical condition. In general, the exam takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete.
Q: What happens if I fail a D.O.T. Physical?
A: If you fail a D.O.T. Physical, the medical examiner will provide you with a written explanation of why you failed. Depending on the reason for the failure, you may be able to undergo additional testing or treatment and then retake the exam. If you’re unable to meet the D.O.T.’s physical requirements, you may not be able to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Q: Do I need to find my own certified medical examiner for a D.O.T. Physical?
A: No, you do not need to find your own certified medical examiner. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety