Federal trucking regulators are asking for public comment on a plan to create a voluntary driver medication form to help make America’s roadways safer. According to a recent Federal Register announcement, the FMCSA hopes to accomplish the following with this CMV Driver Medication Form:
- Assist medical examiners in determining if a truck driver is medically qualified to drive under 49 CFR 391.41
- Ensure that there are no disqualifying medical conditions or underlying medical conditions that could adversely affect a trucker’s safe driving ability or cause incapacitation constituting a risk to the public.
- Ensure that there are no prescribed medications that could adversely affect a trucker’s safe driving ability or cause incapacitation and pose a risk to other drivers on the road.
The Reason for the Form
The primary mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
In October 2014, a medical review board presented medication recommendations to the FMCSA following an earlier report on Schedule II Opioids and Stimulants & CMV Crash Risk and Driver Performance.
According to the FMCSA, because there is moderate evidence to support the contention that the licit use of opioids increases the risk of motor vehicle crashes and impacts indirect measures of driver performance negatively, it was recommended that agency develop a standardized medication questionnaire to assist the certified ME (medical examiner) when reviewing prescription medications that have been disclosed during the history and physical examination for CMV driver certification.
The Information the Form Asks
Two advisory groups recommended to FMCSA that the standardized CMV driver medication questionnaire be voluntary for truck drivers and include such following information:
- All medications taken by the driver
- Medical conditions of the driver
- Name and date of birth of the driver
The 391.41 CMV Driver Medication Form will be available on the FMCSA web site.
In order for this form to be effective, commercial drivers must obviously be willing to fill it out. Personally, we think it should be mandatory. In the meantime, it is our hope that trucking companies nationwide will do the right thing by participating. Doing so not only protects the public, but it can also greatly lower a trucking company’s chance for accidents, fines and legal repercussion down the road.