With everything else that a truck driver has to deal with, no one wants to have to deal with a serious medical condition on top of the challenges they encounter everyday on the road. However, diseases like multiple sclerosis affect an estimated 400,000 Americans, with about 200 new cases of MS being diagnosed every week. What does an MS diagnosis mean? Can you keep driving?
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
MS is a degenerative neurological disorder that disrupts the connection between your brain and your body. There is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms can vary widely. Some sufferers lose the ability to walk, while others experience periods of remission where they have almost no symptoms.
How Does MS Affect Driving Ability?
MS can make it hard for you to get in and out of your truck. It can also cause numbness in your hands and feet. It could potentially make driving a truck dangerous because MS can cause extreme fatigue, seizures, and even the loss of consciousness, all of which could spell disaster on the road.
Can I Still Drive With MS?
According to the FMCSA, an MS diagnosis means that unconditional certification may not be possible for truck drivers. However, an MS diagnosis does not necessarily mean that your career behind the wheel is over. The FMCSA says that truck drivers who are diagnosed with MS may still obtain certification if they have approval from a qualified specialist. Among other concerns, drivers may still be able to be certified if they tolerate medication well and demonstrate good vision, cognitive function and motor skills.