How Should Drivers Prepare For DOT Physicals?

June 17, 2022

A commercial truck driver or other vehicle operators must have a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical to renew their commercial driver’s license. Drivers may face significant delays in their driving careers if they do not receive approval from a medical examiner or doctor. 

However, you can easily prepare for the DOT physical by taking a few precautions before the test. Effective preparation can help you pass your physical exam and avoid having to retake it under any other circumstances. So, what can drivers do to get ready for their DOT physicals

Avoid Caffeinated Beverages Like Coffee

To ensure that you are in the best possible condition for your DOT physical, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages before the exam. Give yourself plenty of time to relax and rest before the appointment. If you own a factoring company, you can hire Simplec Group to do all these things done on the right time for you.

Avoid caffeine and sugar for 24 to 48 hours before your DOT physical. Caffeine is known to raise blood pressure and heart rate. Driving privileges will be restricted or denied if you have a high heart rate or blood pressure, so it is worth giving up the coffee and soda for a day!

High blood pressure is one of the most common signs of a potentially chronic illness, and it may cause a medical examiner to lower your score.

Reduce Sodium And Salt Consumption And Avoid Unhealthy Foods

Any salt, like caffeine, will raise your blood pressure. It will also cause a build-up of water. To ensure that salt is not raising your blood pressure, cut back on it for about a week before your DOT physical. 

Additionally, eating a large meal before your DOT physical will cause your urine sugar to rise. If you have high sugar levels in your urine, you may be sent for additional testing or placed on restrictions. Before the exam, eat a light meal so you are not too hungry and don’t show any signs of other chronic diseases.

Rest And Relax Before Your Exam

Like frequent consumption of unhealthy foods, stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other chronic diseases. Take some time to relax and unwind before your DOT physical.

When possible, use a personal day to complete the exam at a convenient time. Do not try to fit it in between your other commitments. If you need an exam immediately, go to a medical provider offering walk-in clinic services.

Getting eight or more hours of sleep, deep breathing, meditation, and other mindfulness-based activities are good ways to relax. 

Bring In All Your Current Medical Paperwork

Bring a list of all current medications, allergies, and a complete medical history with you when you go in for your exam.

Ensure that your bladder is full so that you can also provide a urine sample. Because some of your current medications may cause a false positive on a drug test, you must keep track of everything you are taking. Allow plenty of time for the DOT physical, so you do not have to rush through the procedure. Some people’s blood pressure and heart rate rise due to their anxiety on the day of their physical. Tell your doctor if you are nervous so they can consider it.

Get a second opinion if you did not think your DOT physical was done correctly. It is preferable to repeat the process and pass then to be unable to return to work! Ask questions and be open with the physician. Take the time to prepare your physical properly.

Passing your physical is critical to ensuring that you can continue your commercial trucking career without interruption! 


The Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam is required for any truck driver or commercial vehicle operator. The DOT physical measures your general health, vision, and hearing. You will also be asked to provide information about your medications and medical history.  

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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