The DOT Physical and how hearing aids can help

If you are a Commercial Motor Vehicle driver, you will know that you are required to do a DOT (US Department of Transportation) physical bi-annually in order to keep your Commercial License.

What is the DOT Physical?

The DOT physical exam was designed to ensure that drivers are physically stable and healthy enough to be behind the wheel. In addition to getting your medical history, the doctor is also going to examine the following [Source: FMCSA]:

  • Hearing
  • Sight
  • Blood pressure
  • Urinalysis
  • Spine, limbs, and extremities
  • Lungs
  • Abdomen
  • Equilibrium
  • Reflexes
  • Speech

What is involved in the DOT hearing test?

Part of your DOT physical exam is a hearing test. This can be measured electronically or, more commonly, by an unusual test often called the "Whisper Test". This test and the required results are defined as follows

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. [Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration]

What if I fail the DOT Hearing Test?

If you do not pass the hearing component of the test, you will be given a short time period during which you can consider purchasing hearing aids before you attempt the test again. You can then re-do the test with the hearing aids on. If you pass the test with the hearing aids, you will be required to wear the hearing aids when driving. 

How I failed and then passed my DOT Hearing Test 

[This true story is told by Carl G., Fort Edward NY] I'm a real person with a real hearing problem. A few weeks ago I failed my DOT (Dept of Transportation) physical due to not being able to hear the whisper test they gave me. At that point I was out of a job. I had only a few days to correct this or I would loose my Class A Commercial Drivers License.

So I started researching and looking at different hearing aids. I went to my local audiologist and I was told they had hearing aids for me but they were going to cost me $7000. So in my quest to find affordable hearing aids I found Embrace Hearing. They were just as good if not better than the ones the local clinic had but thankfully, they were affordable. At least that's what I read and was told over the phone. So I said ok what to I have to lose.

They took my audiologist report and used that as my hearing aid prescription. I was told they would be tailored for my type of hearing loss. Within 48 hours they were at my doorstep. In less than an hour I had the pleasure of talking to one of the most caring kind wonderful Embrace hearing professionals I've ever talked to. She goes by Dr Pam and she was the audiologist that programed and tailored my hearing aids. She stuck with me every step of the way right up until my new physical at DOT. Which I passed! She reassured me I would pass with flying colors.

I was hearing things around my home and outside that I had totally been missing. We have a small farm and I was able to hear the chickens and the birds chirping. All sorts of things. I'm now able to hear and understand my granddaughter. I was able to go to a bowling function and have conversations with people and hear them over the background bowling noise. I am back to work. The hearing aids Tim and Dr Pam provided have changed my life truly forever. Everything that was discussed over the phone was true and accurate. Customer support is #1 as well. I receive a phone call in less then 30 minutes after I have called with a question or concern. THANK YOU Dr Pam Tim & Customer support and tech support.

Next Steps?

If you or someone you know is concerned about how their hearing loss might affect their ability to drive commercially, please call Embrace Hearing anytime at (888) 929-9555.

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