According to the law, HGV drivers must be deemed ‘fit and healthy’ to legally drive vehicles on and around British roads. This is determined by a HGV medical examination, which is made up of two parts; an interview around your physical and mental health and a physical examination, along with your D4 medical form paperwork. The physician who conducts your HGV medical will be looking at very specific requirements in regards to your health to ensure you are fit to drive. But how fit do you need to be to pass the examination? See below a list of areas required to be thoroughly checked in order to ensure you meet guidelines and legislation.
Whilst there are strict sight regulations in place for regular drivers on the roads, these are even more stringent as a HGV driver. As part of the HGV medical eye test, you’ll have each eye tested individually, with and without your glasses or contact lenses. As well as testing your general eyesight, the Doctor will look at your total field vision, as doing so helps to gain a much fuller picture around your eyesight capabilities. There’s nothing to say that if you’ve lost vision in one eye you aren’t eligible to drive a HGV, it’ll all depend on the results of your vision test.
As part of your examination, the Doctor will want to know any neurological problems you are facing, or have faced in the past, as these can have serious consequences as a driver. For this part of the test, the Doctor will examine you, and ask questions related to conditions such as epilepsy, memory problems, strokes, prior brain surgery, or any other chronic neurological conditions.
As a HGV driver, it is not only important that you’re physically fit to drive, but also mentally fit. As part of your examination, you will be asked various questions about your mental health; the Doctor will address disorders such as depression and anxiety as well as any other psychiatric issues you may have faced. During this stage, it is important you are completely honest and transparent so that your assessment is fully comprehensive.
Expectedly, it is against the law to operate a HGV under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. During your examination, the Doctor will look for any signs of alcoholism and drug abuse you appear to be facing. It is important to note that if you are an alcoholic, or drug user it is highly unlikely you will be able to pass your HGV medical examination.
If you are a diabetes sufferer and require insulin in order to control this, it’ll be important your Doctor knows about this during your examination. This is because certain processes will need to be put in place on the job in order to manage this safely and appropriately as a HGV driver.
As part of your HGV examination, your Doctor will test for any potential heart conditions you might face. Whilst it’s important to identify and address these regardless of your occupation, it is key as a HGV driver. That being said, if you are aware of any changes in your health in regards to your heart, you must disclose this to the Doctor.
It’s important for the Doctor to understand any sleeping disorders you face, as these are one of the most common causes of accidents in HGV drivers. If you do suffer from a sleeping disorder, this doesn’t mean instant disqualification. Our understanding will then enable us to better put the steps in place to manage this, so that you can drive safely at all times.
Whilst the above list does appear that you have to be in perfect health to pass your HGV medical, this is not the case. The main point of the medical is making sure your health and wellbeing are reasonably good, and that any illnesses you do have are manageable and therefore do not compromise your ability to drive safely.
If you would like to find out more about our HGV medical service offering, or book in with our Doctor please do get in touch.
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