Can someone with epilepsy become a licensed trucker?

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2023 | Truck Accidents |

Epilepsy, a neurological condition known for causing repeated seizures, can raise doubts about whether someone can get a commercial driver’s license. This concern is particularly significant for those aiming to become truckers, given their long hours on the road.

When a person with epilepsy wants to become a licensed truck driver, specific safety rules and requirements must be met to ensure the safety of both the driver and other people on the road.

Seizure-free requirement

One of the primary factors that play a pivotal role in obtaining a commercial driver’s license is the requirement of being seizure-free. For individuals with epilepsy who aspire to become licensed truckers, this means being free from seizures for at least six months.

This requirement is not just a bureaucratic hurdle. It is in place to ensure the safety of both the driver and others on the road. A seizure while operating a commercial vehicle can have catastrophic consequences, making the six-month seizure-free period a crucial safety measure.

Nocturnal seizures and limited licenses

In some cases, individuals with epilepsy experience seizures primarily during the night, known as nocturnal seizures. Even if they have not met the standard six-month seizure-free requirement, there is still a glimmer of hope for those aspiring to be licensed truckers.

Depending on individual circumstances and the discretion of the Department of Driver Services, they may receive a limited license. This license usually only allows driving during daylight hours. It lowers the chances of nighttime seizures affecting the person’s trucking career.

Getting involved in an accident

Accidents involving a driver with epilepsy may lead to legal consequences based on their medical history and following seizure-free requirements. If their epilepsy played a big role in the accident, they might encounter legal actions, insurance claims and a risk of losing their license.

A review process is in place

Though epilepsy makes it harder for people to become truck drivers, they can still do so safely by meeting certain requirements. These rules are there to keep the driver and others safe on the road. So, in case of an accident, investigations aim to determine responsibility by checking if they followed licensing rules.