Fit To Drive? The Physical Requirements of Truck Drivers in Texas

texas truck driver driving who doesnt meet physical requirements

Since trucks can cause serious - even fatal - wreck on our Texas highways, truck drivers are required to pass certain physical standards mandated by the Department of Transportation before operating an 18-wheeler. 

READ: Hurt in a Texas Truck Wreck by an Unqualified Driver?

Federal law requires that all CDL holders pass the Department of Transportation Medical Examination and receive periodic physical exams to make sure they're able to safely operate a semi-truck. Also called a DOT medical card, truckers must pass the check-up and provide proof with a Medical Examiners Certificate.

As defined by the US Department of Transportation, CDL holders must meet the following physical requirements:

  • Must have 20/40 correctable vision in each eye. Glasses or contact lenses are acceptable to correct a driver's vision.
  • Cannot be a diabetic on needle-injected insulin; diabetes controlled through a diet or oral medication is permitted.
  • Blood pressure must be under 160/100.  Prescription medication to control blood pressure is permitted.
  • Blood sugar level must be under 200.
  • Use of a Schedule 1 drug, amphetamine, narcotic or any other habit forming drug is not permitted.
  • If a driver has a current diagnosis of cardiac insufficiency, collapse, congestive cardiac failure or any other cardiovascular disease, they will be required to provide the Medical Examiner with a recent stress test, along with a letter from their doctor stating that they can drive a commercial motor vehicle without restrictions.

There are some other conditions that could prevent a driver from passing the physical DOT exam like sleep apnea, recent back injury, recent major surgery, a current hernia, or a recent workmen's compensation claim.

READ: What Can a Texas Lawyer Do For Me?

Although trucking companies are supposed to make sure their drivers are physically fit and have passed all required exams and drug screenings, many do not. When a trucking company fails to ensure its drivers are physically able, we consider this negligence.

If you've been in an accident with a big rig driver who didn't meet these qualifications, you have a right to pursue a claim against them. 

If you believe an 18-wheeler company was negligent in the hiring of their drivers or that the trucker who hit you wasn't physically fit enough to operate a big rig, contact the Texas truck wreck attorneys at the Anderson Law Firm in Fort Worth.

Download My Free Guide

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a semi-truck accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You’re missing work, you might have unpaid medical bills, you’re in pain and you feel uncertain about the future.

I wrote this guide to help accident victims understand the right steps to take after an accident to ensure they get the money they need to pay for their injuries, damages, lost wages and pain and suffering. 

Download my free guide now: How to Make a Successful Truck Wreck Claim in Texas