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One of the key things you need to do before you can start your career as a professional HGV driver is, of course, to train and to pass your test so that you can gain your licence. But there is one other crucial thing you need to do before you can get behind the wheel as a working driver, and that’s to take the HGV medical test.

 

About the HGV Medical Test

Unlike the licence, there’s very little you can do to prepare yourself to pass this test – a fact which can be as daunting as it can be a relief, after all your hard work getting your licence in the first place. The exam will consist of several tests, as well as an interview with a medical professional. You might be wondering why you need to take a medical if you’re just sitting behind a wheel all day, so we’re going to explain a little more about it and why it’s so important.

Firstly, let’s look at all the things the HGV medicals take into account.

 

Neurological and psychiatric conditions

Any kind of neurological or psychiatric condition needs to be checked for before you can start driving for a living. This is because your ability to both remember and control your driving skills at all times is very important, considering you’re effectively driving something that could easily kill another road user. One of the things that the medical will check for is any signs of epilepsy, because a fit could render you unable to keep control of your vehicle; likewise, any fits or blackouts which could unexpectedly render you unable to drive.

Parkinson’s disease can also be very serious if you’re behind the wheel of a large vehicle, as can narcolepsy, which could cause you to pass out while driving. A stroke can affect your memory as well as your physical driving capability, and in fact anything that affects your memory is considered a risk. If you’ve had brain surgery, a brain tumour or any kind of serious head injury, you need the all-clear from a medical professional, and the same for any chronic or ongoing neurological problems.

Depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia and other mental illnesses would be checked for too.

 

Physical problems

Anything that affects your vision would potentially be a problem for driving, as would an existing heart condition. For your own safety and the safety of others, any kind of sleep disorder needs to be taken into account, as does diabetes, because losing consciousness at the wheel is extremely dangerous. A spinal condition or injury would have to be checked out in case driving were to cause you severe health problems as a result.

 

Problems with addiction

Finally, any existing addictions would be explored during the medical, because this is the kind of thing over which you may have limited or no control. Trying to perform as an HGV driver whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol due to an addiction would be extremely dangerous for others as well as very difficult for you.

You can find out more about the HGV medical and the requirements on our website as we demystify this final process for you as much as we can.

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