What can cause you to fail a DOT Physical?

In order to operate a commercial vehicle, people are required to pass a DOT physical exam Raleigh north carolina. The physical must be completed at least once every two years, or more often in some cases, to maintain eligibility for operating most commercial vehicles.
In most cases, the driver will pass this test without any issues, however, there is the possibility of failing the test. When a driver fails the DOT physical test, it does not mean they are disqualified from driving, unless it is failed without the possibility of exception. There are certain precautions which must be taken when a driver fails the CDL physical as it could cause serious danger.

In regards to the passing or failing of the DOT physical, it can be somewhat subjective. Although the exam is not intended to be this way. One doctor may not place high importance on one thing, while another doctor may pay more attention. This is one of the primary reasons that second opinions are allowed. It is still important for the driver to be honest and forthcoming about their medical history. Being dishonest or omitting details can lead to fines or even being disqualified from driving.

There are numerous ways for a driver to fail their DOT physical exam. A diagnoses of any of the below conditions can also result in a failed physical:

  • Cardiovascular disease or heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • Drug or substance abuse
  • Epilepsy
  • High blood pressure
  • Missing appendage
  • Nervous system disease
  • Poor eyesight which cannot be improved with corrective lenses
  • Psychiatric disease
  • Respiratory disease

Drivers can also fail the physical if they use an amphetamine, narcotic, or other habit-forming drug. Even if the drug is prescribed by a doctor.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does grant exemptions for some types of conditions. The driver must first prove they are capable of safely operating a commercial motor vehicle and do not pose a threat to themselves or others. These granted exceptions are called “variances” and can be used to exempt drivers who have issues such as diabetes, vision problems, and hearing conditions.

Another type of exception is used for drivers who have a missing or damaged appendage. The driver will still need to prove that limb impairment does not impact their ability to safely operate large commercial vehicles. The driver also must apply for a special variance or Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE).

Below are some of the qualification requirements for a driver:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Has a certificate of completion on the driver’s road test
  • Pass DOT physical examination
  • Possess a valid commercial motor vehicle operator’s license
  • Read and speak English

The driver is the most important safety feature involved with driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). Each time the ignition is started, the driver is responsible for their own safety and the safety of those around them. When a driver passes the required DOT physical examination and obtains a medical certificate, they are confirmed as being able to safety operate a commercial vehicle and to perform their daily tasks. It is always important to take the necessary precautions to ensure the driver, those around them and the roadways remain as safe as possible.

What are DOT Physicals? What Do They Do?