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If you’re a professional bus or truck driver, you know how rigorous the demands of your job can be. In order to ensure your and the public’s safety, you’ll most likely need to take a DOT (Department of Transportation) physical.
A DOT physical is a checkup that’s required for commercial vehicle drivers by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
This exam makes sure you’re able to meet the physical requirements of your job. This includes being able to tolerate the health risks posed by sitting for long periods of time.
If you have been told that you need a DOT physical, here’s what you need to know.
DOT physicals are required in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license.
They’re used to determine your overall physical health and ability to safely operate a commercial vehicle. These determinations ensure that you’re medically qualified to handle the intense schedule, physical demands, and emotional stress of operating commercial vehicles, under all types of conditions.
DOT physicals are required for drivers who:
Once you pass a DOT physical, you’ll receive a medical certificate that allows you to drive a commercial vehicle for 2 years, provided you have no underlying physical or mental condition that requires testing more often.
Some medical conditions require that you have an annual DOT physical. These include:
If you have a medical condition such as very high blood pressure, you may be required to have physicals every 3 months while you undergo medical treatment to correct or manage the issue.
The medical examiner giving you a DOT physical will first have you fill out a medical health history form that asks questions about your health history.
You’ll be asked to provide detailed information about your health, including:
You also have the option of filling out this form ahead of time and bringing it with you.
At your DOT physical, you’ll be given a complete physical examination, which tests your:
You’ll also have a urinalysis, which provides information about blood sugar level and other health indicators. The urinalysis is also used for drug testing purposes.
Each test you take is done to determine if you’re healthy enough to drive a commercial vehicle safely.