How To Stay Healthy in the Transportation Industry

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There’s no better time to work in transport than today. A nationwide shortage of qualified drivers has triggered a boom in benefits and competitive pay across companies. Largely because of common occupational habits, however, poor health is a chronic concern. Here’s what drivers can do to consistently pass a DOT physical and retain their good jobs.

Keep Your Senses Sharp

Drivers, especially of large vehicles, must have keen reflexes, which can’t function properly if the five senses aren’t in working order. DOT physical exams Rockville MD measures drivers’ vision and hearing to ensure that they’re legally adequate for professional driving. Besides testing the senses, a DOT physical checks for epilepsy and similar disorders involving seizures that, as a rule, make drivers ineligible for a CDL due to the elevated risk of a wreck.

Develop a Healthy Heart

Heart health is especially important for drivers. The blood pressure component of physical tests for hypertension, which is frequently the first warning for a bevy of diseases from diabetes to thrombosis. On the road, a stroke or heart attack arising from such conditions typically leads to a loss of control of one’s vehicle and, ultimately, a crash.

You may avoid these complications by keeping your heart in good shape. Try a heart-healthy diet high in fiber, fish, fruits and vegetables, and low in the fattening fast food so rife along America’s roadsides. Accompany this with cardiovascular exercise during downtime, such as jogging, swimming and strenuous gym workouts.

Stay Drug-Free

Unfortunately, substance abuse remains a persistent problem among commercial drivers. Some drugs, including cocaine and amphetamines, are used to stay awake on long journeys. They also cause hallucinations, heart palpitations and a host of additional physical and psychological reactions. Others, such as opioids, restrict the responses required to operate a vehicle.

A standard 5-panel drug test, which screens for all of these substances, is the bare minimum that may be administered in an employment physical. Failure to pass can permanently lose you your license.

By maintaining a satisfactory level of health, you can continue your lucrative career in the field of transportation.