In order to obtain and retain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Georgia, an individual must pass a physical examination as planned and administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Truckers, operators of industrial vehicles, and any other professional that requires a CDL must also retake this examination every two years after passing it to prove that they are still capable of safely controlling large or inherently dangerous vehicles. When a commercial driver causes a traffic collision, such as a truck accident, it might be due to them failing the CDL DOT physical, not taking the physical in too long of a period of time, or the physical items not being rigorous enough to actually identify drivers unfit for the job.
The current requirements for the Georgia CDL DOT physical exam are:
- Eyesight must be 20/40 vision rated, with or without corrective lenses.
- Able to correctly identify all traffic signal colors – red, yellow, and green, namely.
- Capable of hearing harsh whisper within five foot radius.
- Blood pressure must be maintained at 160/100 or better – prescription medication can be used to improve blood pressure.
- Diabetes treated by insulin injections and blood sugar levels over 200 are automatic disqualifiers.
- Use of any schedule 1 drug – including marijuana – is an automatic disqualifier.
- Note from doctor that states the driver is capable of safely operating a commercial or industrial vehicle – required when the applicant has a diagnosed health condition affecting the heart.
Potential Issues with the GA CDL DOT Physical
While the Georgia commercial driver’s license physical exam administered by the Department of Transportation is meant to protect other motorists from unqualified commercial drivers, it might not be stringent enough. With just a cursory glance of the requirements, multiple issues can be identified. It is strange and likely inefficient for the driver’s hearing to be measured by whether or not they can hear a whisper from a few feet away. Schedule 1 drug use is prohibited but is not necessarily enforced with routine and random drug tests. Drivers with heart conditions may not be permitted to operate commercial vehicles but there is also no requirement to complete preliminary tests for such heart conditions.
All in all, the examination could be more thorough, which would likely reduce the number of commercial accidents that occur each year. Due to this distinct possibility, the liability for any crash caused by a commercial driver that would have likely failed a stricter physical examination should not be placed on the crash victim. Instead, the driver, parent company, and perhaps even the Department of Transportation should be liable for damages.
Were you hurt in a commercial or trucking accident in Georgia that was not your fault? Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC and our Atlanta personal injury attorneys would like to be the team that helps you seek and win fair compensation for your injuries. Learn more about what we do by reviewing our recent case results, browsing client testimonials, or by speaking to us during a free consultation – just call 888.425.6070 at any time.