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DOT Hearing & Ear Test

Last Updated: Dec 1, 2015

What New Drivers Need To Know About The DOT Hearing Test:

The DOT physical requires that drivers pass a hearing test before being issued a medical certification.

If a driver uses hearing aids, they may wear them during the "forced whisper" test.

In certain cases, a driver can apply for an exemption to the hearing test requirements.

What Are The Requirements For The DOT Hearing Test?

A person is physically qualified to drive a CMV if that person: First perceives a forced whispered voice in the better ear at not less than five feet with or without the use of a hearing aid or if tested by use of an audiometric device, does not have an average hearing loss in the better ear greater than 40 decibels at 500Hz, 1000HZ and 2,000 Hz with or without a hearing aid when the audiometric device is calibrated to the American National Standard Z24.5-1951.

Drivers will first be given a "forced whisper" test, with or without hearing aid, from the side, from at least 5 feet away, and will be tested on their ability to hear it. The examiner, using the breath which remains after a forced expiration, will words or random numbers in the drivers ear, while the other ear is covered.

If the driver fails the whisper test, the driver must pass an audiometer (basically a device that produces various tones) test to be qualified to drive a CMV. Office audiometry is not able to test a person with a hearing aid. The person needs to be referred for accurate testing.

Drivers who use hearing aids must wear them and have them in operation at all times while driving. They must also carry a spare power source for the hearing aids.

DOT Hearing Test Exemptions:

The FMCSA has established an exemption program for drivers who cannot meet the requirements from FMCSA Regulations Section 391.41 (b)(11), prohibiting drivers who fail the hearing test from operating interstate CMV's.

Applicants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and will be required to submit to a full release and examination of their medical history and records.

See Also: DOT Physical Exemptions

See Also: FMCSA Driver Exemption Programs

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

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