Years ago, if a truck driver became disabled, his trucking career was most likely over. Today, things have greatly improved for disabled drivers, so that most can continue working. New technology and tools along with new laws and attitudes have made things better for those truckers.
First, a person must apply for a waiver by letter. (Here is a link to what needs to be included in the letter: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.aspx?reg=391.49). Then, the driver will have to show or their carrier will have to certify that the driver can safely perform the duties required by the job. Medical records may also have to be provided and will most likely require a physical at least every two years.
The Americans with Disabilities Act has also made keeping a trucking job easier. Under this, a company has to make reasonable accommodations for an employee as long as it does not create undue hardship for the company. For example, this could be making different arrangements during loading and unloading.
If you become disabled, don’t assume that it’s the end of your driving career. Check the laws and regulations, and check out our website and others to find adaptive equipment that can help you keep doing your job.