DOT physical test is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to ensure public safety. It ensures that the commercial driver can tolerate the health effects imposed by sitting for a long time while driving. To get a commercial driver’s license, a DOT physical is mandatory. DOT physical includes the medical history, including prescribed medications, surgeries you’ve undergone, substances you consume – tobacco, alcohol, etc., and current medical conditions. In addition, the DOT physical includes the various functions of the body such as measuring blood pressure and pulse, whether your vision lies within 20/40, your ability to hear forced whispering, a survey of spinal deformities, examination of neurological reflux, oral examination to check swelling or breathing issues, examination of your lungs and heart, hernia examination, and urinalysis to check the kidney functioning. The DOT physical test can be done by a medical doctor (MD), osteopathic doctor (DO), chiropractor (DC), physician assistant (PA), and advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
DOT physical includes:
DOT physical test includes a complete physical examination. All the tests in DOT physical are designed to see whether you’re in good enough health to operate a commercial vehicle safely. DOT physical test will cover the following tests and examinations:
With or without correction, drivers must have a vision of at least 20/40 in each eye. They must also have a peripheral vision of at least 70″ in the horizontal meridian in each eye.
With or without an earpiece, drivers must be able to detect a “forced whisper” at a distance of 5 feet or less. This criterion corresponds to a hearing loss of fewer than 40 decibels in the better ear.
iii. Pulse rate and blood pressure
The medical examiner will check the driver’s blood pressure and pulse for increased blood pressure and irregular heartbeats.
It is necessary to do a urinalysis. The test examines for signs of diabetes or other underlying medical problems. In addition, urinalysis may also be used to screen for drugs. Blood may be taken and examined by electrocardiogram to give the health status.
v. Physical examination
The DOT physical will cover a variety of topics, including:
- Appearance in general
- The eyes (cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.)
- Senses of hearing (scarring of the tympanic membrane, perforated eardrums, etc.)
- Mouth and esophagus (to look for problems breathing or swallowing)
- The heart (murmurs, extra sounds, pacemaker, etc.)
- Examining the lungs and chest, but not the breasts (abnormal breathing, impaired respiratory functions, cyanosis, etc.)
- Viscera and Abdomen (enlarged liver, viscera, muscle weakness)
- The circulatory system (abnormal pulse, carotid, varicose veins)
- Urinary and Genito-urinary (hernias)
- Spine and other musculoskeletal problems such as previous surgery, limitation of motion, tenderness, etc.
- Physiological examination such as impaired equilibrium, coordination or speech pattern, ataxia, asymmetric deep tendon reflexes
The purpose of the DOT test is to evaluate and verify the general health of drivers who must operate heavy CMVs, transport large groups of passengers, or transport potentially hazardous goods. The exams will assess your strength to resist physical and mental stress, as well as your emotional well-being. While each state has its own set of DOT physical requirements, the goal is to guarantee that CMV drivers working on public roadways are professional and safe. You will be given a DOT medical card after you have completed your DOT examinations. This is valid for two years from the date of acquisition. In addition, You will be examined for a variety of drugs if your prospective employer asks for a drug test or if you apply for a government job. DOT physical includes the following drugs during screening:
- Amphetamines and methamphetamines
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Opiates – opium and codeine derivatives
If someone is looking to operate a commercial motor vehicle, he should be aware of the physical stress involved in driving due to sitting for a long time and sleep disorders. To ensure that you can perform your duties safely and soundly, DOT physical test is mandatory. DOT physical exam includes the physical examination to check body parts’ appearance and functioning as legs, spine, etc. Moreover, DOT physical test includes examining hearing, vision, blood pressure, pulse rate, circulatory system, and kidney functioning. It can be carried out by any medical professional. It ensures that the driver is mentally fit to perform the job efficiently.