Traveling on the highways, with or without family, can be stressful at times. Especially if you worry about the truck drivers on the roads with you. New regulations required by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) state all USDOT physicals must be performed by one of the qualified health professionals listed in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
According to the FMSCA website, “Safety is our highest priority and it is vital that every commercial truck and bus driver be qualified, alert, and focused when they are behind the wheel,” said Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Medical examiners equipped with a thorough understanding of DOT fitness standards will be able to ensure that commercial drivers meet the health requirements necessary to operate on our highways and roads, thereby strengthening safety for every traveler.”
So what does this mean to you, the driver? It means CDL drivers must have their examinations done by medical professionals trained specifically on what to look for in drivers. A USDOT medical exam assesses a number of conditions that could affect a driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle they are driving. Cardiovascular disease, respiratory and muscular functions, vision and hearing capabilities are some of the things screened during the process. This new program is required by federal law for medical professionals and drivers.
As of May 2014, more than 22,000 medical professionals had completed the coursework and testing. These professionals are listed on the National Registry with more beginning the certification process. Interstate commercial truck and bus driver’s who currently hold a medical certificate will not be required to visit a certified medical examiner until their current license is expired. However, they must pass a USDOT medical examination every two years to maintain their CDL, obtain a medical certification and legally operate a commercial motor vehicle.
FMCSA developed the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners program as part of the agency’s commitment to enhancing the medical oversight of interstate drivers and preventing commercial vehicle-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The medical examiners on the National Registry are required as well to maintain federal standards through training and recertification. To learn more, visit http://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov
The attorneys of Taylor Martino have handled a number of trucking accident cases. In each case, Taylor Martino determines if a medical card was provided to an unsafe, unqualified driver. A trucking company must require the use of one of these certified examiners, but often they do not. Unsafe CMV drivers remain on our roads.
We anticipate several CMV drivers acquire a medical card from their “favorite” medical provider. Since they won’t have to re-certify for a year, don’t expect safer roads until at least May 21, 2016! When you hire a trucking accident lawyer, be sure the lawyer is up to date on the ever-changing trucking laws. Ask questions.
If you have suffered a personal injury, you need to call Taylor Martino at 251.433.3131 or Toll-Free at 00.256.7728 for a free consultation. You owe it to yourself.