A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical is a head-to-toe physical assessment that ensures you meet all the health standards required to drive a commercial vehicle. Even the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has mandated DOT physicals to make sure you have no medical condition or physical limitation restricting your ability to drive a commercial vehicle and putting you and others’ road safety at risk.
Let’s talk about who needs a DOT physical, what it consists of, and where you can go to get one if you are located in North Carolina.
DOT Physical: Who Needs It?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSA), you need a DOT physical done every two years if you drive a commercial vehicle. FMCSA refers to commercial vehicles as any self-propelled or towed vehicle driven on highways and involved in transporting passengers or property. Commercial motor vehicles are involved in interstate commerce.
So, according to FMCSA guidelines, you will need a DOT physical, if you:
- Drive a vehicle that is designated to carry more than 15 people
- Drive a vehicle that carries hazardous material and requires the vehicle to display a hazmat placard
- Operate a vehicle on the interstate gross combination weight of over 10,000 pounds
- Transport over 8 passengers for a fee
DOT Physical: What does it Consist of?
DOT physical involves a medical history and a standard physical exam. For medical history, you will be asked about your history of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medication use, surgical procedure, alcohol consumption, illegal substance use, etc. The physical exam covers your whole body from head to toe. The functioning of your bodily systems, such as the genitourinary, neurological, and cardiovascular systems, is also checked.
During a DOT Physical, your doctor confirms that you have no limb loss and physical impairment. You will also be checked for any current clinical diagnosis of a medical condition like heart disease, respiratory dysfunction, orthopedic or neuromuscular disease, etc. In addition to physical exams, DOT physical covers your hearing, vision, general appearance, sleep, and gait.
Requirements To Pass the Test
To pass the test, you must have at least 20/40 vision in each eye, at least 70-degree horizontal peripheral vision, and be able to recognize traffic signal colors. You may use corrective lenses. You must also be able to hear a whisper at a distance of not less than 5 feet. Moreover, on an audiometer, your hearing loss in the better ear must not be greater than 40 decibels at various frequencies.
Have any medical conditions due to which you can’t pass the test? You are allowed to apply for an exemption. You can seek an exemption from vision, hearing, and seizure requirements.
DOT Physical Near Me in North Carolina
At Cardinal Urgent Care, our healthcare providers offer DOT physicals as a part of our commitment to providing the people of North Carolina with comprehensive healthcare services. We also offer sports physicals, school physicals, and much more.