As a lorry driver, it’s essential to be aware of medical conditions that can affect your ability to drive safely. Certain medical conditions may require you to obtain an HGV driver medical exam before you can continue driving legally. At Motor Medicals, we provide HGV and D4 medical exams and understand the importance of managing medical conditions that can affect your ability to drive a lorry. In this blog post, we discuss the most common medical conditions that can impact your driving ability and how to manage them.
Cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease, can impact your ability to drive an HGV. If you have a cardiovascular condition, it’s important to work with your doctor to manage it effectively. This may involve taking medication, making lifestyle changes such as adjusting your diet or exercise routine and attending regular check-ups.
During your HGV medical the doctor will review your conditions and ask to see tests such as a coronary angiogram, echocardiogram and details about the treatment you received. If you have had any heart condition, it is important you take the relevant paperwork mentioned above.
The doctor will also review your BP. The current DVLA cut-off is 180/100. Sometimes your blood pressure will be raised because of anxiety or due to ‘white coat syndrome’. To prevent this, please take some pictures of readings you have taken at home; this will aid the doctor with the examination.
Diabetes can impact your ability to drive an HGV if your blood sugar levels are not well managed. From an HGV medical perspective, the doctor will focus on your blood sugar management (to ensure it hasn’t been low), review your yearly eyesight screening, and review your annual podiatrist reviews.
Some diabetic medications can cause your blood sugar to drop quickly. If you are taking these medications (known as sulphonylureas), the doctor will also need to review your BM readings during the examination. This is also the case if you take insulin or any other injections for the treatment of your diabetes.
It is very difficult to obtain an HGV license whilst being epileptic. The DVLA criteria for obtaining a license (correct at the time of writing) is to be seizure free for 15 years and off any anti-epileptic medication). Any seizures after obtaining your license must be reported immediately to the DVLA.
Sleep apnea can cause drowsiness and fatigue, which can impact your ability to drive an HGV safely. If you have sleep apnea, it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for managing your condition, such as using a CPAP machine while sleeping and attending regular check-ups.
The DVLA will accept at least 3 months of adequate sleep apnea control, as well as a minimum of annual reviews with your sleep apnea clinic.
Vision problems can impact your ability to drive an HGV safely. It’s important to have regular eye tests and wear corrective lenses if necessary. If you notice any changes in your vision, such as blurriness or difficulty seeing at night, it’s important to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
The criteria to pass a group 2 standard medical test (what lorry drivers are expected to meet) is to have 6/6 vision in one eye, and at least 6/60 in another (glasses or contacts can be worn). That probably doesn’t mean much to you but you can show these numbers to the opticians to ensure you meet this standard.
At Motor Medicals, we understand the importance of managing medical conditions that can impact your ability to drive an HGV. If you have a medical condition, it’s important to work with your doctor to manage it effectively and obtain the necessary medical exams to continue driving legally.