DOT Physical for Truckers & Sleep Apnea Rules

Yesterday we shared a blog post entitled Truck Driving Training & The DOT Physical.  In that post, we discussed the DOT physical requirements necessary to start truck driver training at a truck driving school.

Today, we would like to share some news we came across in Transport Topics regarding the DOT physical, but more specifically sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a condition that affects an estimated 28% of truckers on the road.  As you can imagine, this is a big concern that needs to be addressed.  Agency officials at The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are expected to issue new rules for medical examiners to help address such health conditions. 

Truckers must pass a DOT physical in order to complete CDL training and get a CDL license.  They are also tested again every two years upon receiving their CDL license and some drivers more often if health conditions require additional follow-up.  Driver fatigue has been the reason behind at least 15% of fatal single-truck crashes, so it is important that this condition be addressed.

It is not known exactly what the new rules will be at this time, but the article did state that the FMCSA is going to be conducting a study of 3,000 drivers with sleep apnea later this year.  The goal is to gather data on crash likelihood of drivers with the condition and compare it to drivers who don't have the condition.  The agency is also going to be rolling out a driver health campaign that will include self-assessment tools for drivers to test their sleep quality.

We will continue to follow these sleep apnea updates and provide you with more information as it becomes available.