From:                              Idealease <>

Sent:                               Friday, July 18, 2014 3:53 PM


Subject:                          Idealease Safety Bulletin - Are Your Drivers Fit for the Road?



Idealease Safety Bulletin






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During the past week there has been considerable amount of press regarding the physical qualifications and conditions of commercial truck drivers. The FMCSA yesterday was scolded by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman, James Oberstar regarding the lack of progress in implementing rules to ensure that "unfit" drivers are kept off the highways in commercial vehicles. Earlier this week the press released a number of articles indicating that hundreds of thousands of drivers carry commercial truck licenses despite the fact that they are also qualifying for federal disability payments for medical conditions. The National Transportation Safety Board as well as the has stated that through their investigation of fatal accidents that it is actually unusual in their investigation if there is not some questions regarding a commercial drivers medical qualification.

It is obvious that we will be seeing changes to the regulations in the future to driver qualifications but what can you do to protect your company's liability exposure from hiring an unfit driver?


1. Require all drivers to have physical examinations completed by company doctor who is certified by the FMCSA and listed on the National Medical Examiner Registry.


2. Do not accept current physical forms from driver applicants and require them to go to your company doctor.


3. Require drivers to sign a HIPAA release and obtain and review the long form physical for each of your drivers. Do not accept a medical card only for qualification.


4. Track all of your driver's medical qualifications for expiration and provide the driver a 30 day notice of expiration. Do not rely on the driver to make sure the medical certification is renewed. Remove drivers from service immediately who do not have a current medical qualification on file.


5. Develop job descriptions and job requirements for all positions based on actual requirements of the job


6. Administer structured check rides at least annually to all drivers to access the driver's skills and abilities.


7. Develop a continuing relationship with all drivers to keep an open line of communication regarding the driver's ability to complete their driving responsibilities safely.


8. Implement a driver wellness program to promote a healthy lifestyle.


9. Provide driver training on work related injury prevention.


10. Retain a labor attorney to review your policies and procedures regarding a driver's physical qualifications.




What do the FMCSA regulations say about my driver who have a current medical certificate but have developed a medical condition that would make the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) questionable and possibly unsafe?


FMCSA regulations prohibit a driver from beginning or continuing to drive if their ability and/or alertness is impaired by: fatigue, illness, or any cause that makes it unsafe to begin (continue) to drive a commercial vehicle.


Even if a driver currently has a valid medical certificate, the driver is prohibited from driving a CMV with any medical condition that would be disqualifying or may interfere with the safe operation of a CMV. Once a disqualifying medical condition is resolved, and before resuming operation of CMV, a driver is responsible for obtaining re-certification from a Medical Examiner. FMCSA CFR 391.45


Hypertension and Drivers


Question: I have sent my driver for a DOT physical and the doctor has issued a three-month certification due to the blood pressure (hypertension) of my driver. Can my driver continue to be qualified by seeing the physician every three months and receiving a new medical certificate?


Answer: NO! The three-month certification for hypertension is a one-time certification. Hypertension, as defined by the regulations, is classified in three stages depending on the systolic and or diastolic blood pressure readings taken of the driver.


-Stage #1 (systolic 159-140 and or diastolic 99-90): A driver with this condition may be certified for one year. Upon re-certification, if the driver's blood pressure is equal to or less than 140/90 could they again be certified for one year. However, if the driver's blood pressure is greater than 140/90 and less than 160/100 at the time of re-certification, the driver is issued a one time three month certificate.


-Stage #2 (systolic 179-160 and or diastolic 109-100): A driver with this condition must be treated and given a one-time, three-month certificate. Once the driver has reduced the blood pressure to 140/90 or less, a one-year certificate is than issued and recertified annually.


-Stage #3 (systolic equal to or greater than 180 and or diastolic equal to or greater than 110): A driver with this condition cannot be certified until their blood pressure has been reduced to 140/90 or less. The driver is then recertified every six months.

*It should be noted that once a driver has been diagnosed with hypertension, the re-certification for Stage 1 and Stage 2 will continue to occur annually and the recertification for Stage 3 will occur every six months. The regulations, as outlined in 391.43, specifically state that if a driver has hypertension and/or is being medicated for hypertension, he or she should be recertified more frequently.


What can you do to help control hypertension?


-Eat healthy foods. Try the dietary approach to control hypertension. Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods. Get plenty of potassium. Eat less saturated fat, trans fat and total fat. Limit the amount of sodium (salt) in your diet.


-Maintain a healthy weight. If you're overweight, losing even 5 pounds can lower your blood pressure.


-Increase physical activity. Strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.


-Limit Alcohol. Even if you are healthy, alcohol can raise your blood pressure. Drink in moderation; it is suggested no more than one drink a day for women and two a day for men.


-Don't Smoke. Tobacco injures blood vessel walls and speeds up the process of hardening of the arteries. If you smoke, get help. Ask your doctor to help you quit!


-Manage your stress. Reduce stress as much as possible. Practice healthy coping techniques, such as muscle relaxation and deep breathing. Get plenty of sleep!



July 18, 2014



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Driver Health on the Road


As a driver of a commercial motor vehicle it is hard to eat and remain healthy compared to other professions. Just the physical demands of the job make it hard to stay physically fit, such as requiring you to sit to operate the vehicle, unless you are collecting garbage. Eating while on the job also does not lend itself to a healthy lifestyle. The following will provide you with some tips to stay healthy when eating fast food.


Try selecting from the following:


The smallest sized hamburger


Grilled chicken sandwiches or salads


Low-fat dressings and sauces (or none at all)


Diet soft drinks or preferably, water


Try to avoid the following:


Super-sized ANYTHING


Fried or breaded chicken or fish; as well as chicken nuggets


High-fat dressings and sauces


Extra/ sides of cheese





National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

 Sept. 14-20, 2014


Make plans now to recognize your drivers.


CVSA Brake

Safety Week

Sept. 7-13, 2014






The Idealease Safety Bulletin is provided for Idealease affiliates and their customers and is not to be construed as a complete or exhaustive source of compliance or safety information. The Idealease Safety Bulletin is advisory in nature and does not warrant, guarantee, or otherwise certify compliance with laws, regulations, requirements, or guidelines of any local, state, or Federal agency and/or governing body, or industry standards.



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