New Federal Rule Makes it Easier for Truckers with Diabetes to Drive

Posted in: Serious Personal Injury | Oct 18,2018

Truck drivers with diabetes who were hitherto barred from driving unless they had an exemption from the federal administration, can now operate commercial trucks under certain conditions.

Earlier truckers who suffered from insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) were prohibited from driving commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce unless they received an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has now approved a final rule that allows truck drivers with this form of diabetes to operate commercial motor vehicles if they can provide a medical certificate that states that the driver is following a stringent insulin regimen and is maintaining control of his disease.

Under the newly approved rule, a truck driver with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus must provide a Medical Examiner’s Certificate from a certified medical examiner. This certificate will be valid for a period of 12 months. The certificate will be based on a duly filled- out ITDN assessment form by the treating doctor, who is responsible for helping the truck driver maintain his insulin regimen and control his diabetes. The medical examiner will then issue the Medical Examiner’s Certificate after determining that the truck driver meets the standards set by the federal trucking agency, and is capable of operating commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.

Truck drivers may be at special risk of diabetes and other lifestyle- related conditions because of the unhealthy lifestyles they lead. A truck driver often works long hours, and may not be able to obtain the rest and sleep that he needs to function optimally. He may have access to only unhealthy food options like fast food and other high- fat foods that place him at high risk of suffering from not only diabetes but also hypertension and heart disease. Persons who suffer from diabetes may suffer from suddenly lowered blood sugar levels. This can cause a truck driver to feel dizzy, confused, and disoriented. The driver may go into a diabetic shock, which causes him to pass out behind the wheel. Obviously, this places not just the truck driver, but also other motorists at grave risk of an accident.

Hopefully, this new rule, while it may make life a little bit easier and more convenient for a truck driver, will be stringently enforced, so that only drivers with strong control over the symptoms of their condition are allowed to operate commercial motor vehicles.

The Indianapolis catastrophic truck accident lawyers at Montross Miller represent persons injured as a result of truck accidents across Indiana.