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Motor-Carrier Driver Qualifications – What It Takes to Be Physically Qualified Part 2

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In continuing my discussion on Motor-Carrier Driver Qualifications – What It Takes to Be Physically Qualified, I want to discuss that a CDL licensed driver cannot drive if he or she has an “established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control.” As we have previously discussed, the physical qualifications for driving a motor-carrier are outlined at 49 CFR 391.11 subpart E.

In this series of blogs on driver qualifications, I want to keep the following video posted on each for any new readers.


Now that you have taken the time to watch the above video I think it first appropriate that we first give a brief medical overview of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus in brief summation,

diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder caused by an absolute or relative deficiency of insulin, an anabolic hormone. Insulin is produced by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans located in the pancreas, and the absence, destruction, or other loss of these cells results in type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus [IDDM]).

The classical symptoms of DM are polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger), fatigue and blurred vision. For purposes of our safet discussion, fatigue and blurred vision are obviously negatives when it comes to operating a semi. As common sense should dictate, a semi poses a higher risk of catastrophic collisions than a normal automobile does. When ones vision is blurred and/or one is fatigue, the risk for collision increases exponentially. Thus the reason for the law.

At McIntyre Law we have personally seen the catastrophic nature of these collisions. It is important to have an experienced attorney familiar not only with accident investigation but also the intricacies involves in driver qualification which includes looking into the medical history of a driver involved in a wreck. This involves more than simply looking at a police report and as such must be handled in a different fashion than what one might typically do in a non motor-carrier related collision.

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  1. Steve Lombardi says:
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    Jeremy: Interesing safety tips for semi-drivers of a condition that affects those sharing the interstate highways with them. Listening to the video made me wonder how often semi-truck drivers are required to have a physical to determine their fitness to operate under federal law.