What Are the DOT Blood Pressure Guidelines?

As you know the government agencies that oversee commercial drivers such as the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have a lot of regulations in place. Many of the medical regulations for truck drivers are based around various common medical conditions such as sleep apnea, hypertension, if you are at high risk for heart attack, risk of heart disease, and so forth. These regulations are to keep the roads in our country safe. Many issues that are discovered can be managed or corrected entirely through appropriate lifestyle changes. Commercial trucks are a whole different ball game from a personal car and if a medical emergency happened while driving a semi, the results could be very bad for a lot of people. For this reason there are medical requirements in place that are constantly reviewed with mandatory medical examinations that will get you a year certification. Blood pressure is one of the points explored in the medical exam that they monitor and require to be controlled appropriately for the DOT certification.

In this article we will take a closer look at some needed truck driving tips to better understand the blood pressure guidelines set by the FMCSA and DOT to offer a better understanding of what levels are acceptable and which are not, as well as a general understanding of why these guidelines are in place to begin with.


What Are the Most Recent DOT Physical Exam Requirements?


The DOT physical examination requires drivers to have 20/40 vision with or without the use of prescription glasses.In other terms you must be able to see at least 20/40 with both eyes, or at least 20/40 with either the right eye or left eye. If you have been diagnosed with monovision you may be disqualified from getting a certified medical examiners medical card or medical certification.


Drug Use

The DOT drug testing screens for cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, THC, marijuana, and PCP, but please check with the DOT for any updates to this list. If you test positive for any of these drugs you may be interviewed to determine if there is any medical explanation for the substances found in the urinalysis. If not, it will be counted against you.



The DOT physical requires you to be able to hear a forced whisper in one ear within a distance of five feet without the use of a hearing aid. However, you can still pass the DOT physical if you use a hearing aid in the other ear.


Brain and Neurological

The DOT physical includes a brain and neurological screening. This is to identify any brain injuries and neurological disorders resulting in epilepsy or seizures. If you are diagnosed with epilepsy or who have a history of seizures you will be automatically disqualified from receiving a DOT medical card.



It is important to keep track of your personal healthcare especially in the matter of the heart. High blood pressure is not the only concern out there. Some may deal with issues on the side of elevated blood pressure while others with lower blood pressure. Both equally have their concerns. Heart health is very important in order to receive a DOT medical card. Blood pressure readings may be taken to assess the risk for heart attack or heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of medical illness and sudden death in drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles. However, just having heart issues is not an immediate disqualification to maintain a CDL as long as they can be suitably handled with blood pressure medications to minimize the health risk of heart attack. If things have become unregulated since the last certification period it could prevent truckers from getting a recertification for your medical card required to keep a commercial drivers license in good standing.


Symptoms of Hypertension

For someone that is hypertensive, there are typically some signs in your health that will indicate something is not right and you need to get to the doctor to get it checked out. If you experience any of the following on a regular basis you should seek professional medical advice.

  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath

  • Nosebleeds

  • Flushing

  • Dizziness

  • Chest pain

  • Visual changes

  • Blood in the urine

Tips For Reducing Your Blood Pressure

Have you been diagnosed with high blood pressure? Well that is not the end of the road. You can find a level of relief and even reverse the issues you are having with some appropriate changes in your life. Try to add or improve the following points within your life and see if you feel better.

  • Regular exercise 

  • Lose weight 

  • Reduce intake of sugar and carbs

  • Intake more potassium and less sodium 

  • Quit smoking 

  • Find ways to reduce stress

  • Get enough sleep 

  • Reduce alcohol intake 

  • Reduce caffeine intake 


The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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