Whether you’re a long-distance truck or bus driver, driving a commercial vehicle is taxing, laborious, and sometimes stressful. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers to take a physical test (DOT) to safeguard public safety.
What is a DOT test? The DOT (Department of Transportation) driver physicals are comprehensive clinical tests designed to ensure that commercial drivers are physically fit to tolerate the stresses and risks of sitting for prolonged periods.
If you pass the test, you’re given a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) medical card that proves you can safely operate the vehicles. But who needs to take the exam? What does it entail? And where can you find DOT physicals near me in Cerritos, CA/Anaheim, CA? Read on for answers to these questions and more.
What is the Use of DOT Driver Physicals?
Professional drivers typically work long hours—within which they interact with countless passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers. To protect the public from avoidable danger, it’s important to assess and ensure the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of these drivers.
Federal and state laws require the following groups of drivers to take a DOT exam every 2 years:
· Drivers who operate vehicles that exceed 10,000 pounds – i.e., heavy machinery.
· Public transportation vehicle with at least 15 passengers.
· Drivers of vehicles carrying hazardous material – i.e., if you have a hazmat placard.
· Motor vehicles that transport more than 8 people for a fee.
If you fall under the oversight of the Department of Transportation, failure to comply with the examination requirements may lead to temporary work stoppage or fines.
What Does the Test Entail?
If you have medical conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes mellitus, you’re required to take DOT driver physicals every year. And if you are deemed to have high health-related risks, the test is administered every 3 to 6 months.
Several tests and examinations are carried out to ensure the commercial driver is in a position to handle the intense schedule. The DOT physical covers the following:
Many health problems in the bladder, skin, kidneys, and even lungs affect the content, concentration, and appearance of urine. Urinalysis is administered to detect and provide information on health indicators such as blood sugar (diabetes), liver disease, and the presence of controlled or illegal substances.
Every DOT test is characterized by a complete physical exam. It covers everything from eye health (at least 20/40 acuity), hearing (i.e., ability to perceive a forced whisper from 5ft), breathing or swallowing problems, musculoskeletal health, limb impairments, and neurological tests (e.g., coordination, reflexes, and equilibrium). The physicals also include the checking of irregular heartbeats and blood pressure.
PS: Driver taking the DOT test are allowed to use prescribed medication or assistive devices such as eyeglasses.
Drivers are also required to fill a detailed medical history form. Some of the questions asked in the form relate to the substances you consume (tobacco, alcohol, etc.), diagnosed medical conditions, previous surgeries, psychiatric disorders, and medications consumed.
With this in mind, you are required to carry a list of prescription medications, any visual or auditory aids you use when driving, recent laboratory results, and medical records from a specialist or regular doctor. PS: It is easier to fill the FMCSA medical examination report form before your appointment.
Tips to Prepare for a DOT Examination
Passing the DOT physicals and obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License is not overly complicated—as long as you’re healthy enough and you follow the necessary steps. Some of the medical conditions that may disqualify you include poorly managed diabetes, deafness, epilepsy, and vision impairments that cannot be corrected.
Consider taking the following preparation tips to improve your health and the chances of passing the test:
· Don’t indulge in heavy alcohol consumption.
· Exercise regularly and eat a nutrient-dense diet to stay physically fit and healthy.
· Stay away from drugs of abuse.
· Take your medications are prescribed by your doctor to manage your health condition.
· Don’t smoke or vape before/during the test.
· Update your prescription of assistive devices and medication before the DOT physical examination.
· If you have a history of hypertension, stay away from foods or substances that are known to negatively affect blood pressure.
· Avoid salty snacks when you have a diagnosis of diabetes. The idea is to show that the condition is manageable and well-monitored.
Who Performs DOT Driver Physicals?
DOT physical exams can only be performed by a licensed medical professional who is certified to issue them and listed in the FMCSA national registry. An examiner is specially trained to prevent inappropriate qualification/disqualification and maintain certain standards.
The medical examiner is tasked with the responsibility of assessing and determining whether the commercial driver meets the DOT exam’s requirements. If you pass the test, a medical certificate will be issued—proving that you are qualified to operate a commercial vehicle. The card also indicates the date of your next appointment.
DOT Physicals Near Me in Cerritos, CA/Anaheim, CA
Looking for DOT physicals near me in Cerritos, CA/Anaheim, CA? Visit A&C Urgent Care today! Our FMCSA-certified clinicians are highly experienced and specially trained to understand the requirements of the DOT exam.
Mitigate the risk of missing valuable work days due to a looming DOT physical by working with us. We help your cruise through the process as quickly as responsibly possible. A&C Urgent Care also offers the DOT exams cheap—with the aim of covering the needs of every driver.
Give us a call at (714)634-4884, text us online, or visit one of our clinics for an appointment and to learn more about our services.