DOT physicals are required by law for all truck drivers to maintain their certification. The DOT physical process is annoying to most drivers, but it’s important to ensure you’re healthy so you aren’t putting yourself or others on the road at risk. DOT physicals assess your overall health, risk for certain medical conditions, and more. There isn’t a way to drastically alter your DOT physical results, but there are a few things you can do to increase your odds of passing the physical.
Cut Back on Caffeine
Caffeine raises your heart rate and blood pressure, which are both checked during a DOT physical. Try to avoid caffeine for 24 hours before your physical to avoid getting inaccurate results.
Reduce Salt Intake
Salt can also raise your blood pressure and make you retain water, causing a higher overall weight. Try to limit your salt intake in your daily life for health reasons, but especially when you know a DOT physical is approaching. There are plenty of salt-free seasoning alternatives you can use. Processed food tends to be very high in sodium, which is one reason why so many truck drivers struggle to keep their blood pressure down.
At every DOT physical they’ll need to review your current medications and any medical conditions you have. It’s helpful to print out a list of these things prior to your physical so you don’t forget anything. You should also drink plenty of water before your appointment, because they’ll need a urine sample for drug testing.
You’ll have your blood drawn to check your risk of diabetes too, so avoid eating large, carb heavy meals before your appointment. Eating large amounts of carbs before a blood test could give inaccurate results.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Alternative Exam Options
If you get poor results at a DOT physical, that doesn’t mean that’s the end of the road. You have the ability to seek a second opinion from another physician for a DOT physical. If you were nervous before your appointment or didn’t follow some of these recommendations, your results likely weren’t accurate.
Many urgent care centers and walk-in clinics are able to provide an alternative to a traditional DOT physical. Not only will this alternative make you feel less nervous, it’s quicker too! No appointment is necessary, just stop in whenever it fits into your schedule. Go online to find an urgent care center or walk-in clinic offering DOT physicals near you!