Residents of Philadelphia may not envision truck drivers when imagining the ideal picture of health. In fact, some accidents in Pennsylvania are even caused when commercial vehicle drivers suffer health emergencies, like heart attacks, while driving. However, many commercial vehicle drivers, including truck drivers, are required to undergo a medical examination once every two year to ensure that they are fit enough to operate a commercial vehicle. This must be completed as a term of maintaining their commercial vehicle license.
However, there are few regulations surrounding these medical checkups. This means that drivers can go to a few different medical professionals until finding someone that can issue the driver as fit enough. However, this is set to change as the Department of Transportation outlines stricter guidelines surrounding these checkups for commercial vehicle drivers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere around the country, beginning in May 2014.
First and foremost, commercial vehicle drivers will now have to be approved by a physician certified to conduct such examinations. These physicians will be required to pass an exam after completing training which shows that the physician can successfully detect symptoms of vision impairment, sleep abnormality, high blood pressure, diabetes and other various symptoms and conditions that could mean a driver is susceptible to suffering a medical emergency while behind the wheel.
The aim is to eliminate the number of unsafe commercial vehicle drivers from roads across the country. Commercial vehicle accidents yield some of the most catastrophic injuries in our state, so hopefully this regulation will decrease devastation and increase safety.
Source: Red Wing Republican Eagle, “New regulations will require bus, truck drivers to get certified exams,” Sarah Gorvin, Nov. 16, 2012