It’s no secret that motor-carriers, like semi-trucks, can be dangerous vehicles. In fact, over 5,000 people are killed annually in truck-related accidents.
Therefore, it is so important that motor-carrier companies only choose the very best and most capable people to drive their vehicles. Thankfully, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has created a list of physical qualifications that all motor-carrier drivers must meet.
Some of these seem obvious, such as the necessity of all drivers to have all of their arms and legs, in order to properly hold the steering wheel and push the right pedals. Others may not seem so obvious, such as these rules, dealing with pre-existing health conditions:
(b)(3) Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus currently requiring insulin for control;
(b)(4) Has no current clinical diagnosis of myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, coronary insufficiency, thrombosis, or any other cardiovascular disease of a variety known to be accompanied by syncope, dyspnea, collapse, or congestive cardiac failure;
(b)(5) Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of a respiratory dysfunction likely to interfere with his/her ability to control and drive a commercial motor vehicle safely;
(b)(6) Has no current clinical diagnosis of high blood pressure likely to interfere with his/her ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely;
(b)(7) Has no established medical history or clinical diagnosis of rheumatic, arthritic, orthopedic, muscular, neuromuscular, or vascular disease which interferes with his/her ability to control and operate a commercial motor vehicle safely;
These rules are just as important as making sure the driver is physically capable of operating a vehicle. If a motor-carrier driver were to succumb to a pre-existing medical condition, and, for example, have a heart attack on the road, the results could be catastrophic.
Further requirements include exceptional visual and auditory senses, which are important for every driver on the road, but even more so when the driver is operating a huge vehicle.
The requirements for being a semi-truck driver may be difficult to meet, but that is a good thing. I only want the healthiest, most-skilled people operating such dangerous motor-carrier vehicles, and I think most everyone would agree with me.