Driver health is the focus of new bus and truck regulations

In order to get and keep their commercial driver’s licenses, bus drivers and truck drivers go through more rigorous testing and medical examinations in order to assure they have the right skills and are in good enough health to handle the demands of their job. While many drivers are diligent on being safe on the road, long hours and some medical conditions have led to an increase in truck accidents, especially near large cities such as Miami.

Soon, following those guidelines is going to get a bit more inconvenient for the drivers, when in May 2013, driver physicals will be required every two years by a certified provider. As it stands, driver physicals are still required, but currently any physician can sign off on a driver’s good bill of health, unless the company they work for has already indicated more specific requirements.

By making sure doctors have the right certifications before examining these drivers, the doctors gain a stronger knowledge base about common ailments that commercial drivers face, and which of those ailments are likely to cause truck accidents. Some of these include sleep apnea, obesity, diabetes, chronic eye strain, and high blood pressure.

The new law also allows closer tracking of drivers by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Of course even with the new found attention to the quality of bus and truck driver exams, there is still no way to assure that truck accidents won’t happen, but hopefully these incidents will go down as the safest possible drivers are put on the roads.

Source: The Republican Eagle, “New regulations will require bus, truck drivers to get certified exams,” Sarah Gorvin, Nov. 16, 2012