There are no regulations - and no guidance - related to pregnant driver certification. The question is always the same: is there an increased risk of sudden (or gradual) incapacitation?
- Absent complications, the answer is probably not.
- One condition of special concern is that of blood clots in the legs. Truck driving alone increases the risk for these, and pregnancy increases that risk as well. Does the driver have a history of a clotting disorder? Is the driver on blood thinners? At the very least, this risk should be discussed with the driver, including how this risk might be reduced - suggesting the driver take breaks, move around, consider using an aspirin to reduce clotting risk if the driver's treating provider agrees.
- The FMCSA indicates that a driver may not be cleared to drive with any limitations or restrictions other than those listed in the certification determination - wearing corrective lenses, hearing aid, SPE certificate, exemption, etc. Can the driver safely perform non-driving duties that are still considered by the FMCSA to be essential job functions - loading/unloading freight, coupling/uncoupling trailers, etc.?
- The ME should ask the driver whether the driver has any concerns or questions related to pregnancy and driving and discuss/address those.
- The ME may have to address questions from the employer about the safety of the driver continuing to drive. Given the above, in many if not most situations, there are none. There have been many reported situations in which employers have discriminated against pregnant drivers.
- The safety of the fetus is an additional consideration, but specific increased risk to the fetus is unlikely unless the driver (or the fetus) has specific identified co-morbid conditions.
- The ME may consider obtaining the opinion of the treating provider if there are uncertainties or questions related to driver fitness for duty.
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