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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

US Medical Examiners Look Next to Driver Diabetes

A member of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Medical Examiners Working Group told attendees at the Truckload Carriers Association this week that the medical community is convening a joint task force to develop consensus recommendations for diabetic commercial drivers.

According to Heavy Duty Trucking, Gary Moffitt, who works with companies such as J.B. Hunt and Walmart, compared the process to 2006 when the Working Group came up with recommendations for sleep apnea screening.

“We said this is what sleep apnea is, these are the people that are at risk for it, and if you think a driver potentially has sleep apnea, here’s how he should be tested. Here are the ones that need to be taken out of the truck, here’s the continued testing that needs to be done,” he told attendees.

he added that at the time the guidelines weren’t endorsed by the FMCSA, but “it started a conversation.”

“What we’re hoping to do is to clarify exactly what is diabetes; look at the best practices; discuss the concept of control; then what is appropriate testing when a DOT driver has a physical? Certainly not just a urinalysis,” Moffitt said.

He said it’s responsibility of the medical examiners to “step up” in diagnosing drivers with diabetes, which, he added, is under-diagnosed and under-treated.

Currently, drivers who have diabetes and are dependent on insulin are not allowed to drive without a special exemption. However, current DOT exams do not require a blood sugar test. They rely on the driver to self-report a diabetes diagnosis.