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The Commercial Driver Medical Examination (CDME) is used to assess the medical fitness of a driver to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. Hypertension is a disease that has been shown in prior research to cause reduced driving safety performance when not properly managed, and it is therefore important that medical examiners be able to consistently identify it in drivers. However, the CDME has historically been ineffective at screening drivers with safety-related diseases. For example, a report from the US Government Accountability Office showed the existence of a substantial number of drivers who were deemed eligible by the federal government for full disability benefits and yet also passed their CDME’s. To address these issues, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instituted the Medical Examiner Registry and mandatory training programs for examiners. This project uses data from before these reforms to establish a baseline for comparison to the new version of the CDME. We compare hypertension as captured in CDME records to hypertension as captured in medical insurance claims data on the same drivers. Our initial results indicate that of the 1,320 drivers who were determined from the insurance data to have hypertension, medical examiners were able to correctly identify 74% of them as having the condition. This suggests that while the CDME was moderately successful in screening for hypertension even before the reforms, there was room for improvement.

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Commercial Driver Medical Examination (CDME); Hypertension; Commercial vehicles; Truck driving--Safety measures


Health Economics

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Conference Proceeding

The Effectiveness of the Commercial Driver Medical Examination in Screening for Hypertension