Workplace and road safety is a shared responsibility. Maintaining your driving privileges requires regular driver medicals if driving is a major or critical part of your profession. Professional drivers must be medically fit to drive, therefore if your health has deteriorated, you must notify your company and undergo renewed driver medicals to ensure that you are still able to safely drive (if you now have to wear glasses, have had a heart attack or been diagnosed with diabetes, for example).
Is it necessary?
Driver medicals may be mandated by law or by your insurance provider. As a professional driver, you may need to undertake driver medicals if you drive a large or passenger-carrying vehicle (such as a car transporting customers or co-workers). Driver medicals are also required for persons who operate heavy machinery, such as forklift truck drivers.
What to expect from drivers medicals?
Usually occupational health nurses provide driver medicals as they are qualified to assess whether or not you meet the correct health criteria. A health questionnaire is the first step of the test. This is meant to alert you to any potential dangers to your health or driving ability. Untrue responses could put your health and safety in jeopardy, as well as the health and safety of others, at risk.
Non-invasive regular tests will also be performed by the nurse to verify that you are fit to drive. Among the most common are:
- Measurement of visual acuity
- A hearing exam (if required)
- A body mass index (BMI) assessment is required.
- Blood pressure checks
- Urine analysis
How are results given?
Depending on your function, the findings of any tests or checks performed by the nurse will be evaluated by a licenced nurse or doctor. A driver may be deemed fit to drive for one function but not another based on the differing safety standards associated with those roles.
Both the employee and the company will receive the findings of any driver medicals performed once it has been completed. It’s possible that your doctor will request a follow-up visit if new medical information is discovered (such high blood pressure).
Why do I need to take an medical test?
To ensure the safety of drivers and passengers, driving exams are required for all licenced drivers. Since failing a driver’s medical means that you can no longer drive professionally in the function you previously held, this is why. You may or may not be able to drive other vehicles, such as a car, depending on the reason for failing the medical test. If you’re concerned about passing a driver medical exam because of health issues, you need to talk to both your doctor and your employer. You may be able to take and pass a fresh driver medical exam in the future with suitable therapy.
What else are they used for?
In some states, medical exams may be used to test whether private drivers are fit to drive. They are commonly used for drivers over the age of 75 to ensure that they are still safe to drive and don’t pose a risk to others on the road. It is very common as we age for our visual and mental acuity to deteriorate, which can cause major issues on the road. In some states, driver medicals are required every year after a driver turns 85 if they wish to keep their unrestricted license.
If you have a driving exam coming up, don’t be nervous. They’re a tool used to ensure that both you and others are safe on the road and can help prevent major injury.