When you’re a commercial driver, it’s vital to ensure that you’re fit and healthy to operate a big rig or any other commercial vehicle. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has established rules to make sure you’re in good shape, and that’s why you need to go through a physical examination. This exam is essential to prevent accidents on the road. The people who carry out these exams are called medical examiners, and they have to follow specific rules to make sure you’re safe behind the wheel.
Sometimes, though, these medical examiners can bend the rules or even break them. If this happens, it can be a big problem for you as a driver. You won’t be in trouble with the law, but you might have to waste time and money getting a new medical exam. Here’s what you should watch out for:
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1. No Certification
Medical examiners must have a special certification to do DOT physicals. Even if they are doctors, they need this extra training to certify drivers properly. If they say they can do DOT exams without the proper certification, be careful. You can only get back on the road professionally with a genuine medical card.
2. Skipping Steps
Some examiners might rush through the exam to see more patients and make more money. This means they might not do all the necessary checks on you, which is bad for your safety.
3. Fake Results
In the worst cases, examiners might change the results on your medical certificate. They might lie about your vision or hearing, weight, or blood pressure just to give you a pass. This is very dangerous because it puts you and others at risk.
To prevent these issues, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) checks the examiners regularly to make sure they’re following the rules. If they find someone cheating, they can take away their certification, fine them, or even charge them with a crime.
To be safe, only get your physical from a medical examiner listed on the FMCSA national registry. This way, you know they are qualified. You can also call their office and ask for their DOT certification. Legitimate providers should be able to give it to you without any trouble.
Your employer might have a list of trusted medical examiners. While you should still check their credentials, if your workplace recommends them, it’s a good sign that they are reliable. Don’t ignore bad behavior. If you find a provider on the registry who doesn’t seem legit, report them. This way, you can protect other drivers from harm.
During your exam, your medical examiner should do a thorough check.
They will check more if you have health problems or take medication. If your examiner doesn’t do a proper physical exam, it could get you both into trouble later.
Your commercial driver’s license and DOT medical card are essential for your job. So, you should always make sure you visit a certified medical examiner. Even if someone recommends them, double-check their qualifications and certification. Once you’re sure they are legit, keep going to them for your future exams. It’s your responsibility to ensure you follow the rules, and this will save you time, and money, and keep the roads safe.