What is a DOT Physical?
It is a medical test required by the Department of Transportation, for drivers who are meant to operate a commercial vehicle, such as bus and truck drivers, or taxi drivers. By law, drivers in these categories must renew their DOT physicals every two years, in order to keep their licence. This is a measure put in place to make sure that they have the full physical capacity to perform their duties without endangering themselves or others.
What does a DOT Physical consist of?
The exam consists of several parts. One is the evaluation of the driver’s medical history, while there are also evaluations and diagnosis of his/her current state of physical health, including key tests of one’s blood pressure, vision and hearing abilities. While vision is, of course, essential, there are exemptions for hearing impaired drivers, as the literature does not provide definitive evidence that hearing impairment is connected to a greater risk of accidents. There is also a psychological examination and a drugs and alcohol test that must be passed.
There is also another requirement you need to fulfill when getting a DOT physical. You need to be able to communicate in English during the examination. Arguably, the state needs to know that the driver can understand basic traffic signs and road information. The ability to communicate in English is also important in the case of interactions with police officers who might pull the vehicle over.
Tips on how to pass your DOT Physical
To increase your chances of having an examination free of problems, there are a few things you can prepare for.
- Since blood pressure is one important indicator of your overall health, it is advised that you try to keep it in check before and during your physical. So try to hydrate properly, to cut down on caffeine, alcohol, energy drinks and junk food, at least for the days preceding your physical. However, this would be good advice to follow in general, not just for your exam.
- If you are on any type of prescription medication, try not to change the pattern in which you take it, since this may cause your physical parameters to change
- Bring any medical paperwork you believe might be relevant. If you’re not sure what relevant means, it’s better to bring along everything you have. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. If you are on any medication, bring your prescription. If you wear eyeglasses, have them on you, together with the prescription from your optometrist, if you can find it.
- Try not to schedule your exam on one of your packed, busy days. It’s important to be well rested and relaxed. Eat well before your exam, but not too well. A big meal can also change some of your physical parameters, in addition to potentially making you uncomfortable during the test.
Where can you get your DOT Physical?
Agile Urgent Care offers specialty physicals, including DOT and CDL physicals. We are conveniently placed in Secaucus, NJ, on Meadowlands Pkwy, near the Hackensack river and the NJ-3 road, close to the Meadowlands Plaza. Waiting times are short and we try to make your experience as pleasant as possible. Contact us to book an appointment for your DOT physical.