HGV Medical – Useful Information

In the UK the law requires drivers of commercial vehicles / HGV to be in good health. Every new driver now needs a medical carried out by a by a Doctor / Physician alongside a completed D4 document to say you are fit to drive. The DVLA ( not your doctor ) will then say if you are fit to drive or not based on the information provided from the medical assessment. The same form and exam is carried out for Bus Drivers. Dont worry you may be in better health than you thought. If you have any further questions about the HGV medical exam do call one of our team.

Who can carry out a drivers medical?

Any UK registered Doctor can carry out your drivers medical. You can choose to use your local GP / NHS or use a private doctor. Local GP’s are often very busy and this may delay your application / training significantly,they also may not be used to completing D4 forms. Believe it or not a private doctor will often be cheaper and are more used to carrying out this type of work.

Please give us a call as we can often arrange a medical for you as part of your course.

What does the drivers HGV medical involve?

A doctor will carry out your medical and it comprises of two parts.

Part 1. You will first be interviewed where you can discuss any existing medical conditions that might be detrimental to your driving ability. You are expected to be honest and upfront during discussions with your physician and expected to talk about your medical history openly. You need to be aware that any dishonesty or misleading information could be used against you in light of a future accident so it is always best to be as transparent about your health as possible.

Part 2. The doctor / physician will then carry out a 30 minute physical examination where they will check all of your vital signs including your vision. You then send the form off to the DVLA with your D2 form and Driving License.

What level of fitness do I need to be to become an HGV driver?

As long as you are in reasonably good health you wont have a problem. Some more serious conditions will effect / disqualify you from becoming or continuing as an HGV driver. Below is a small list of some common conditions that effect your application.

Sleep Disorders

As you might well be aware sleep disorders are a major, and leading cause of accidents on our roads. Your doctor will look for signs of sleep disorders but this is often something that you will need to be honest about during your interview. If you can prove your disorder is managed well you should still be able to proceed.

Heart Problems

Doctors will check for any potential heart conditions as even the most simple of problems can develop into a serious issue in the future so this needs to be looked at very carefully.

Eyesight

Requirements for HGV drivers is a little more tough than for car drivers. You will need to be able to see out of each eye withor without corrective lenses.

Can you drive a lorry with one eye?

Yes, you may still be able to drive a car or motorcycle if you only have one eye or sight loss in one eye (sometimes called “monocular vision”).

Neurological Problems

These can have a serious effect on any driver and are taken very seriously by the examining physician. It is unlikely you will be able to drive if you suffer from memory problems, blackouts, have had a stroke or seizures or any chronic neurological condition such as MS.

Mental Health

You will need to be in a state of good mental health, doctors will ask about any history of depression and anxiety, cognitive impairment or any hospitalisation for psychiatric illness.

Alcohol & Drugs – Do you get drug tested for HGV medical?

You cannot operate an HGV vehicle with drugs or alcohol in your system it is illegal as we are sure you are well aware of. Based on this if you are a regular user of either it is unlikely you will be able to hold an HGV driving job. Your doctor carrying out your medical will look for any signs of chronic drug or alcohol use.

Remember you only need to be in a reasonable state of health.

Changes to your health during your career as an HGV driver

You are required to notify the DVLA of any changes in your health if it can potentially disqualify you from driving. If in doubt ask your GP. You may be required to undergo a new medical examination once a condition has been reported. If for any reason you are disqualified and your condition improves there is a process to have your license restored to ensure your safety and the safety of other road users.

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