Disqualifying Medical Conditions for Commercial Truck Drivers

February 19, 2019 — by John Conger
Tags: Truck Accidents

Truck driver behind the wheelIn California and across the United States, trucking companies are required to meet certain safety standards to hire safe drivers. Those standards, set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), specify certain medical conditions that make drivers ineligible.

If a medically disqualified truck operator causes an accident, the trucking company or the driver can be held legally responsible. If you were injured in a trucking accident, the attorneys at Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley in Stockton, CA can determine if the driver or trucking company failed to meet FMCSA regulations and secure compensation for your injury.

Here, we discuss disqualifying medical conditions for commercial truck drivers.

The Purpose of FMCSA Regulations

FMCSA guidelines are intended to protect the public from catastrophic truck accidents. If a truck driver has a medical condition that impairs his or her ability to drive safely, the driver may not be eligible to sit behind the wheel.

Trucking companies are required to ensure that their drivers pass a physical examination and background screening. As such, these companies must have standards in place for testing and screening applicants.

Disqualifying Medical Conditions Under FMCSA Regulations

To medically qualify for a truck driver position, drivers must be physically capable of operating a truck, performing pre- and post-trip safety inspections, and securing and keeping the load from shifting.

FMCSA considers the following medical conditions disqualifying:

  • Loss of vision
  • Loss of hearing
  • Epilepsy
  • Use of insulin

Each of these conditions affect a driver’s ability to safely operate his or her vehicle. Truck drivers who suffer from any or all of these conditions may apply for an exemption by supplying medical records, employment records, driving history, and other documentation for evaluation.

Physical Examinations and Failure to Screen

Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines require that commercial truck drivers undergo a physical examination to make certain they are capable of driving the truck and performing other essential duties associated with the job. The exam should be performed by a licensed medical examiner from the FMCSA’s National Registry.

If the trucking company does not require drivers to undergo an examination, the company will be at fault for allowing the driver to operate the commercial vehicle. It is incumbent on the employer to ensure the driver undergoes a physical examination and background check.

Determining Who is at Fault in a Truck Accident

In California, the circumstances surrounding the accident will help determine who is liable for the crash. For example, should a driver provide his or her employer with false information, he or she may be found responsible for the accident.

On the other hand, should the trucking company fail to thoroughly look into the driver’s background, the company may be held responsible for the outcome. Our truck accident attorneys can determine who is liable for a truck accident and help the victim secure damages from the responsible party.

Contact a Truck Accident Attorney

If you were in an accident with a commercial truck, contact the truck accident attorneys at Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley online or call (209) 477-8171 today.