Why Does the Department of Transportation Have Physical Requirements?


Quick Answer

The Federal Motor Vehicle Carrier Safety Administration maintains physical requirements in the interest of safety. Certain physical conditions may impair a driver's ability to operate a vehicle.

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Why Does the Department of Transportation Have Physical Requirements?
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Full Answer

Drivers of commercial class vehicles operate equipment that can threaten their own safety as well as that of others if not operated safely. Multi-ton vehicles have the potential to cause considerably more severe damage than smaller passenger vehicles. The Department of Transportation therefore requires drivers to undergo physical exams every two years. Drivers with controlled diabetes or repaired vision may apply for an exemption that allows them to continue to drive even if they do not meet the basic medical guidelines as long as they meet certain criteria and maintain treatment for their respective condition.

The Skills Performance Evaluation Certificate is a special authorization granted to amputees or individuals missing limbs who are fitted with a prosthetic device and have demonstrated their ability to operate a commercial vehicle. The Special Skills Certificate is required of all amputees or individuals who are missing limbs. A complete list of authorized medical examiners is provided by the Department of Transportation. Drivers must be examined by one of these medical professionals in order for their health assessment to be valid.

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