There is a common misconception that physical impairment will prevent an individual from gaining a commercial drivers license. From the outset, it should be stated that a lot of physical impairments will create barriers, however, each impairment needs to be treated on its own merits.
Missing limbs will make if very difficult to gain a CDL. In some situations, you can receive an exemption that will allow you to drive a truck, however, those exemptions can be limiting in themselves; for example, limiting the time of day and where you can drive a truck. In most cases, exemptions are only possible for people with a physical impairment who are working in a family business where truck driving is a very minor part of their duties.
For other physical impairments, degree is the concern. If you have 90% loss of vision, you won’t pass an eye test. However, if you can pass a standard eye test wearing glasses, then you will generally gain a CDL. High blood pressure is another issue that often prevents people from becoming truck drivers. However, if you are taking medication that brings your blood pressure under control and it stays under control, then a CDL is not out of the question.
The important issue is whether or not you can pass a Department of Transportation medical assessment. A doctor will assess your ability to drive. They will also look at any physical impairment and determine what effect that may have on your ability to drive a truck. If necessary, the doctor performing the assessment may require advice from a medical specialist.
If you have a physical impairment and you want to consider truck driving as a career option, talk to your doctor. They may be able to reduce the effect your impairment has on your ability to drive, thus breaking down that barrier. If you can pass a DOT medical, then you are ready to undertake truck driver training.