Safety First and the CMV Driver Medical Certificate

happy truck driverWhen you’re behind the wheel of a CMV, you are responsible for more than just your cargo. You are accountable for the lives and safety of the other drivers on the road. Weighing literal tons, commercial trucks and buses don’t handle like your average Class C, passenger vehicles. With adjusted stop times, bigger blind spots and limited maneuverability, drivers need to be in peak driving performance. That’s where the CMV Driver Medical Certificate comes in. The physical you take for this certificate confirms that you are healthy enough to safely perform the demanding job of a CMV driver and keep our nation’s roads safe.

What is tested?

The following attributes and skills are assessed, to determine whether you are fit for the jobs required of any driver, and not just your current work duties.

  • Sight- Your eyesight is crucial for reading the road, evaluating traffic, and inspecting the security of your vehicle, tractor, trailer and cargo. To test your eyesight, a certified medical examiner will examine your distance vision, horizontal field of vision, ability to distinguish colors, and cervical range of motion (the movement of your neck). You may take this portion of the test with contact lenses or glasses and qualify for certification with the requirement that you wear them at all times while driving.
  • Hearing- Your ability to hear the road and traffic can be the difference between cruising and crashing. To test this ability, you will receive a “forced whisper test”. The doctor will whisper to you from a distance of five feet away and you must able to hear the whisper without the use of a hearing aid. If you fail, you will need to take and pass an audiometric exam to be eligible for certification.
  • Vehicular Operation- Your tactile functions (i.e. touch sensation, grasping and coordination) are essential to your being able to confidently drive a CMV. If you suffer from a physical impairment or are missing a limb, you can still qualify. Discuss your options with your doctor.
  • Sustained Cognition and Mental Stability- Your ability to stay alert and communicate is tested to make sure you stay awake behind the wheel and do not…doze…off… Your experience of daytime sleepiness, the medications that you take, as well as alcohol and substance abuse are all factors that are taken into account in this portion of the exam. The CMV Driver Medical Certification does not require that you take a drug test, but your employer might ask that you get tested at the same time.
  • Consistent Control- As noted above, your doctor will determine whether any medications or supplements you are taking can negatively affect your ability to drive. You will also have your blood pressure and urine tested to make sure you’re in good health.
  • Physical Endurance- Lastly, your strength, range of motion and flexibility will be examined to make sure you’re suitable for the job of driving a CMV. This accounts for the ability to sit for long periods of time, load cargo, couple trailers, etc.

Safety first

At TransForce, we are proud of our driver safety record and recognize that safety is a commitment that should be shared throughout our organization.  Our focus on safety doesn’t just benefit our own operations. Motor carriers nationwide consult with TransForce on a range of compliance issues, including driver certification.

To apply for a CMV Driver Medical Certificate, you will need to see a certified medical examiner. Find one now by visiting: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/medical/driver-medical-requirements/dot-medical-exam-and-commercial-motor-vehicle-certification