We understand that driving is not a simple task. It is an intense job. You have to interact with your vehicle and the environment at all times. It engages your whole body as you perceive and process vehicle and road information.
Good drivers master these skills through experience and driving ability. Great drivers know that whole body health trumps their experience and driving ability. This means that mental and psychological health matter as much as the physical. Studies have also confirmed the same.
Research shows that driver’s health is a significant predictor of road performance. Health problems such as fatigue, respiratory disease, and drowsiness can affect your disposition. They can also hinder your ability to process driving information. This can increase your risk of injury and affects the safety of other road users.
DOT physicals assure the US Department of Transportation that drivers are physically fit to operate commercial vehicles. Drivers have to take these medical exams at least every two years for regular monitoring. Here are 4 compelling reasons why requiring a DOT physical is important.
Why requiring a DOT physical is important
DOT physicals confirm the driver’s compliance
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) stipulate that all commercial drivers perform a DOT physical. The agencies are responsible for ascertaining and ensuring the safety of transportation employees.
Your safety is important because professional driving remains a very hazardous activity. As a driver, you face higher occupational risks given that you are on the road for most of your life. Taking a DOT physical confirms that you have complied with government guidelines for safe commercial vehicle driving. A passing DOT physical indicates you are fit to own a Commercial Drivers License (CDL).
Promotes road safety
DOT physical exams are a very important aspect of commercial driving safety. A physician checks your hearing, vision, heart, chest, spine, and any other extremities. Passing a DOT physical confirms that a driver is well to drive and won’t pose a risk to other road users.
Ensures the safety of transportation employees
According to the DOT, new drivers should give copies of their screenings to their employers. These results inform the employer of the health risks of their drivers. They can then use this information to assign a job to the driver or re-assign to other duties.
Promotes a safety culture in organizations
DOT physicals force trucking companies to develop and maintain a safety culture for their drivers. This culture includes keeping qualification files and following up on DOT physical results. Failure to keep these files means that the companies expose themselves to DOT fines. A safety culture confirms an employer’s commitment to keeping all drivers and the public safe.
Requiring a DOT physical is important because your health affects your driving ability. When a health condition impairs your driving, you expose yourself and other road users to serious injury. Requiring a DOT physical promotes road and organizational safety. It also confirms your health status and fitness for CDL approval.