Times are changing, trucking regulations are nothing like they used to be. On April 20th, 2016 driver physical regulations have changed once again. Drivers now need to look ahead and address potential health issues before they become problems. A few key factors that are now being heavily scrutinized during the FMCSA physicals process are body mass index (BMI), neck size, the number of medications taken, and blood sugar levels.
There are many different ways of improving health issues in order to help pass a FMCSA physical. Becoming more active, and watching what we eat, is one of the most effective ways to a healthier life. Weight loss can help decrease neck size, BMI, lower blood sugar levels, and even help reduce the number of medications that have to be taken.
Some of the red flags during driver physicals are:
Any of the above can cause a driver not to pass the FMCSA physical. It is recommended that drivers plan to complete their physical within 30-45 days prior to the expiration date on their current medical card. This allows the driver to take care of any issues that may arise during their physical (such as sleep studies or controlling blood sugar levels). Also, a driver can continue to drive during this 30-45 day period unless the physician finds a medical issue during the physical that requires them to revoke the medical card of the driver. If a driver waits till the last minute to get their physical, and an issue arises, then a 30, 60, or 90 day card will be issued to the driver. A driver cannot drive while on a 30, 60, or 90 day card until they pass a second physical. This is why it is very important for drivers to be proactive and schedule their physicals sooner rather than later.
FMCSA regulations are constantly changing so be sure to check their website (www.fmcsa.dot.gov) for the most up to date information.
All of our articles are written by various members of the TDC team.