Commercial Truck Drivers and Ineligible Medical Conditions

Sep 2, 2019 — by Guy Regev
Tags: Auto Accidents Truck Accidents

A truck driver behind the wheelIn order to prevent the risk of large truck collision due to a driver's physical health, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has flagged four medical conditions that make a person ineligible to operate a commercial vehicle. These medical conditions are as follows:

  • Vision loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Epilepsy
  • Insulin use

Preventing people from becoming truck drivers due to the above medical issues can help prevent catastrophic truck crashes and fatal auto accidents from occurring. The Brooklyn, NY attorneys of Zucker & Regev, P.C. would like to go over these issues below in greater detail.

Why These Four Medical Conditions?

There’s a common sense justification for singling out these four medical conditions. Vision and hearing impairment make driving a large truck much more challenging, and could make drivers less aware of potential hazards around them. Similarly, the risk of a seizure or hypoglycemic episode behind the wheel of a large commercial truck could lead to deadly collisions.

The risk of these dangerous driving conditions must be taken seriously given the long hours that truck drivers spend on the road each week.

Mandatory Physical Examination

To check on the general wellness of truck drivers, the prospective drivers must also agree to undergo a physical exam performed by a licensed medical practitioner listed in the FMCSA’s National Registry. This exam will make sure the driver is in good overall health and that they are able to perform all tasks associated with the operation of a large truck.

Applying for Exemptions

Even if a potential truck driver suffers from one of the disqualifying medical conditions, it is possible to apply for an exemption. Qualifying for an exemption means that the driver will still be able to operate a large truck despite having one of the conditions above. The FMCSA will require the driver to submit medical records, driving records, employment history, and other supporting documents for review.

New Rules About Insulin and Diabetes

In 2018, new rules went into effect regarding truck drivers who use insulin in order to control their diabetes. These new rules state that medical exemptions will not be required for insulin use if a driver can demonstrate that they have a steady insulin regimen and that their diabetes is under control.

Trucking Companies and Additional Screenings

While the FMCSA and Department of Transportation have screening protocols in place for prospective truck drivers, it is crucial that trucking companies themselves properly screen prospective employees. Any possible red flags about medical problems need to be taken seriously to prevent a dangerous driver from getting on the road.

Who Is Liable in a Crash Caused by a Medical Condition?

Liability in truck crashes caused by medical conditions can vary. In some cases, the truck driver is liable for their actions, though the trucking company may also bear some blame. Issues with the medical screening and exemption process may also suggest some liability on the part of other parties working with or within the FMCSA.

During your legal consultation with our attorneys, we can discuss the nature of your truck accident and start building a strong case based on the nature of the crash and available evidence. We are here to help you seek justice.

Speak with Our Truck Accident Lawyers

To learn more about your legal rights and options after a major truck accident, it’s important that you contact our experienced injury accident lawyers. The attorneys of Zucker & Regev, P.C. are here to help. You can reach our office in Brooklyn Heights by phone at (718) 624-1211.

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