Greater Scrutiny Placed on Commercial Truck Drivers’ Medical Examiners

In order to ensure that commercial truck drivers are safe on the roads, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently implemented a rule that will require doctors who conduct medical examinations on truckers to obtain a special certification. In order to meet these new standards, healthcare professionals will need to receive training about the physical conditions that can affect truckers' ability to drive safely on the roads.

In addition to familiarizing doctors with the health issues that affect truck drivers' performance, this new rule is designed to make it more difficult for commercial truck drivers to "doctor shop" when they fail their medical examinations. Since truck drivers need to pass these tests in order to work, sometimes those who fail will find another doctor who will give them a more favorable result. Under the FMCSA's new rule, doctors will also be held accountable for passing truck drivers who do not meet the agency's standards.

Health Problems That Commercial Truck Drivers Face

There are a number of medical conditions that can affect the performance of commercial truck drivers, including obesity, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, eye strain, hemorrhoids, muscle strain and diabetes.

In order to ensure that commercial truck drivers are healthy enough to face the challenges of operating their vehicles, they are required to pass a medical examination every two years. When conducting these tests, doctors look for a number of medical issues including problems with vision and hearing, cardiovascular disease and respiratory illnesses.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

The health of truckers is just one factor that can play an important role in commercial truck accidents. Some other common causes of these crashes include:

  • Truck driver fatigue, which is often caused when trucking companies set unrealistic schedules or encourage drivers to work more hours than the law allows
  • Poor maintenance of a vehicle
  • Distractions, such as texting while driving

In some cases, truck accidents are beyond the drivers' control and are caused by factors like poor road conditions or mistakes made by those in passenger vehicles.

If You Have Been Injured By a Commercial Truck Driver

Have you been injured by a commercial truck driver? You may be able to sue the trucker for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages if you can prove that the driver's negligence caused the accident. In addition, if the policies of the truck driver's employers contributed to the accident, you may also be able to file a claim against that company. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to find out what recourse you have and what steps you need to take to get the compensation you deserve.