What To Know About DOT Physical Exams

The Texas Department of Transportation routinely requires paid operators of motor vehicles to have a periodic DOT physical exam. Bus and truck drivers need them in order to maintain or apply for their commercial driver’s license. The DOT physical is done by a qualified examiner as required by federal law. Here’s what you need to know about the DOT exam.

DOT Physical Exams

Exam Expectations

The doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant performing your DOT physical Corpus Christi TX reviews your medical history. They want a list of current medications regularly taken. They perform routine items such as checking your pulse and blood pressure. They listen to your lungs and heart, check for spinal deformities, check for a hernia, ensure your reflexes and coordination work well and do a urinalysis. A vision and hearing exam is also done. The DOT wants to ensure there isn’t a mental or physical condition that can impact your driving ability. Most are completed within an hour.

Testing Reasons 

Driving requires good vision, hearing and cognitive function to safely maneuver on the road. Hearing tests require drivers to hear forced whispers without a hearing aid in one ear. Neurological disorders and brain injuries can cause seizures or epilepsy impairing the driver’s ability. Drug testing is done via a urine sample. Drug abuse impairs the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle and is against the law. If a substance is found in the urinalysis, the driver can expect to be interviewed to provide an explanation. Cardiovascular disease can result in a stroke or heart attack with sudden onset. Cardiovascular screenings are done to assess the driver’s cardiovascular risk. Vision is key to good driving.

To make the process go smoothly, bring any medical documentation about current medical conditions with you to your appointment. Disclosing all known medical conditions is a requirement by the DOT. Failure to provide that information could result in legal fines or disqualification.