Vision Requirements for CDL Truck Drivers

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Written by Mike Skliar

The work of a trucker is fraught with risk, therefore, it requires the utmost precision, safety, and constant monitoring of the surroundings. One of the important requirements of obtaining and keeping a CDL is having a good vision. 

Vision Standard for CMV Drivers

According to FMCSA, safe driving requires a combination of good vision, adequate visual field, ability to spread attention over the field of view, and motor skills. The current standard requires drivers to have:

  • A distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (the Snellen Test) in each eye without corrective lenses or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective lenses;
  • A distant binocular acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses;
  • A field of vision of at least 70 degrees in the horizontal meridian in each eye;
  • The ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard red, green, and amber.

New alternative vision standard 2022

The proposed changes were made public just over a year ago and were open for comment. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 21 and will go into effect on March 22, 2022, for CMV drivers who do not meet the vision standard in the worse eye. 

To be qualified for the alternate vision standard, the trucker must:

  • Have, in the better eye, a field of vision of at least 70 degrees in the horizontal meridian and vision of at least 20/40 with or without corrective lenses;
  • Be able to recognize the colors of traffic signals with red, green, and amber;
  • Have a stable vision deficiency.

These new rules require drivers with disqualifying vision conditions to obtain a Vision Evaluation Report (Form MCSA-5871) from an ophthalmologist or optometrist, in addition to undergoing the current physical qualification exam conducted by a DOT certified medical examiner.

Truckers’ Night Vision Problems

Being a company truck driver or an owner operator means spending long nights on the road. And a lot of truckers suffer from night vision problems. The main reasons for this are:

  • Age-related changes, including presbyopia (difficulty focusing on close-up objects);
  • Dirty windshields, which can scatter up to 90% of the light and make it difficult to see at night;
  • Night glare and halos headlights of oncoming cars;
  • eye strain;
  • A nutritional deficiency, especially vitamin A;
  • Health problems like diabetes and eye cataracts.

One solution to the problem is the use of anti-reflective glasses. Also, do not forget to give your eyes a rest, including from gadgets, and eat right.

How to maintain good eyesight

Whether you have perfect vision or have some problems, here are several simple tips to keep your eyes healthy:

  • Get regular checkups;
  • Exercise your eyes – you can find options for eye exercises on the Internet or ask your optometrist about it;
  • Use quality UV-blocking type sunglasses;
  • Take breaks when you start feeling a strain on your eyes;
  • Eat food rich in vitamins A, C, and E. 

Jobs for owner-operators

Stress can be another cause of visual impairment. It leads to blurry vision, eye twitching, and dry eyes. We can help you to reduce the stress of looking for an owner operator job. Owner Operator Land is a big recruiter agency in the transportation industry that works with dozens of logistics companies. Just fill out the form here and get a beneficial job opportunity quick and easy.

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Author Mike Skliar

As the truck driver recruiting agency's CEO, I deeply understand the unique challenges and demands truck drivers face.

Drawing from my extensive work experience, I bring knowledge in truck driver recruitment, logistics, and transportation management. I possess a comprehensive understanding of industry regulations, safety standards, and best practices, ensuring that the agency adheres to the highest standards of professionalism and compliance.

Now, looking back and remembering my path from the very beginning, it seems to me that this story is a lifetime. During all these years of development and growth of our agency, I took part in no less interesting projects in which my experience, knowledge and vision were needed. And I was also able to gain new skills, contacts and experience by participating in the development of these projects from various fields, such as cargo transportation, trucking companies, e-commerce, parcel delivery and much more! But the best is yet to come!

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