Being a truck driver in Australia requires an individual to be fit and healthy because the job covers various responsibilities as well as policies to adhere to. The long hours and distance of driving may cause stress and a number of other health and safety risks to truck drivers as well as other road users. If you are sick or has a medical condition, chances are, it may affect your ability to judge the situation, your response time, your perception, as well as your ability to control the vehicle. You do not want to risk yours or others lives when driving. That is why it is important to be honest about your medical condition to be able to get proper attention, care and assistance.
Conditions which affect driving
Some companies would require getting a physical examination first before hiring truck drivers in Australia. So for you to successfully get the truck driving job that you want, it is essential to get your doctor’s medical clearance first. Take proper medications your doctor or specialist suggests to reduce or control the effects of the condition. The following are the health conditions that may affect or restrict your ability to drive safely:
- Age-related decline (changes in motor, cognitive or sensory abilities together with degenerative disease)
- Neurological disorders (dementia, epilepsy or other cognitive impairment due to other causes)
- Psychiatric disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Heart disease or stroke
- Vison problems
- Blackouts, fainting or sudden periods of unconsciousness
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Substance misuse or dependency
- Temporary injuries (e.g. broken bones)
- Pain (e.g. Post-surgery)
- Some multiple conditions (e.g. cerebral palsy, spina bifidia, or paralysis of any part of the body)
Compliance to Medical Standards
Australia’s National Transport Commission and Austroads had set policies that companies need to consider when hiring truck drivers. Higher standards were put for heavy vehicle drivers because of the demands and nature of their driving. Regular medical reviews are required so that drivers can acquire the proper licenses. The review is based on the age bracket of drivers, such as the following for class MC license holders:
- At age 21, and then every 10 years
- At age 40, and then every five years
- At age 60, and then every two years
- At age 70, and then every year.
If your doctor had assessed that you need treatment and regular review, conditions will then be added to your license. Example would be the length, number of hours or schedule of your driving. You may only drive during the day, or only within a specific distance near your home. When issued these conditions, it is your responsibility to comply to avoid suspension or cancellation of your license as well as penalty or arrest.
In addition, it is necessary that truck drivers to always bring the review which contains your medical information while on duty. So that whatever happens to you on the road, appropriate and accurate medical assistance will be given.