Three Reasons Why Your Drivers Should Pass DOT Physicals Before Summer 2023
A DOT physical exam can give employers key insights into any driver's health conditions and secure valid DOT medical cards.
As the summer season approaches, temperatures will start to rise, and so will the importance of your CDL drivers prioritizing their health and well-being. In addition to encouraging your fleet to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise, even while on the road, scheduling their DOT physical exams can provide extra peace of mind and health consciousness throughout the hottest time of the year.
Arranging DOT physical exams now has many advantages for both you, the employer, and your drivers. Here's why you should do so sooner than later:
- Check in on your drivers' overall physical health
- Diagnose and manage any chronic medical conditions your drivers may have
- Renew your drivers' DOT medical card to meet federal regulations
Show Drivers You Care About Their Health
While the DOT physical examination ensures drivers meet the medical standards necessary to operate commercial motor vehicles safely, it also gives you better insight into the status of your drivers' health.
Having a safe and healthy fleet is key to the success of your company. If you're aware of any medical issues they're experiencing, especially as they exert extra energy in the summer heat, you can be better prepared to address any potentially dangerous situations that may arise.
Every employee wants to feel seen and heard by their employer, and their overall health is a huge component of the one-on-one attention you should strive to give each of your drivers. Simply asking, "How are you feeling today?" can open the door to more honest conversations surrounding their health, building trust between you and your fleet.
Be Aware of Drivers' Chronic Health Conditions
If your drivers are diagnosed with any chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or sleep apnea, you have a duty to be aware of any medications they're taking or additional support they may need to carry out their job duties.
We've posted a number of blog articles explaining what these conditions mean for drivers and employers:
DOT Physical Blood Pressure: Requirements & Tips for Passing
DOT Physicals: Will I Pass with Diabetes?
DOT Physicals: Can I Pass with Sleep Apnea?
These diagnoses also mean you must stay on top of your drivers' DOT medical card expiration dates. They will likely need to pass DOT physicals more often than other drivers who do not have any health issues. We dive into the relevance of these certificates below.
Meet DOT Physical Regulations & Recordkeeping Requirements
As an employer of CDL drivers, you should be familiar with the process of scheduling and managing DOT physicals for them. Once they've passed their exam, your driver will receive a renewed medical certificate that can last up to two years, unless they are required to see a doctor more frequently due to a diagnosed health condition.
A valid medical certificate is one of the many driver qualification records the FMCSA requires you to have on file for each of your drivers. If any of your driver files contain an expired medical certificate, you could be fined up to $16,864 during a DOT compliance audit. And if you don't have one at all? The current daily fine is $1,388, with penalties of up to $13,885. It's not worth the risk!
Schedule DOT Physical Exams with Foley Now
As summer approaches and CDL drivers prepare to hit the road, prioritizing their health and safety is of utmost importance. Encouraging your drivers to undergo DOT physicals before summer helps ensure compliance with federal recordkeeping regulations, promotes physical health awareness, manages chronic health conditions, and secures valid DOT medical cards for up to two years.
When you work with a trusted DOT physical partner like Foley, managing your drivers' DOT physical exams doesn't have to be a headache. Schedule a FREE demo of our DOT physical program today to help your drivers hit the road with confidence this summer!
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