Fit for the Road
8. Myth: I feel fine, so my diabetes can’t be all that bad.
Fact: There are serious complications of untreated diabetes. In fact, the risk of stroke more than doubles within the first five years of being treated for type 2 diabetes. About 75 percent of people who have diabetes die of some type of heart or blood vessel disease, according to the American Heart Association.
9. Myth: Insulin-dependent diabetics can’t get a CDL.
Fact: Historically, there was a ban on insulin-dependent diabetics from driving commercial vehicles in interstate commerce. That changed in 2003 when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) at the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a Diabetes Exemption Program for case-by-case assessment of commercial drivers with insulin-treated diabetes if they met certain conditions. The restrictions were so strict that few were approved. In July 2005, as part of the transportation bill passed by Congress, people who use insulin to treat their diabetes now have an easier time getting an exemption that will allow them to drive trucks and other commercial vehicles in interstate commerce. Go to the FMCSA website (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/safetyprograms/Diabetes/diabetes-exemption-package.pdf) to apply for an exemption. The application requires that you be evaluated by an endocrinologist and an ophthalmologist or optometrist, and that these doctors provide certain information about your diabetes.
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