Drivers who are required to have a D4 medical include those who hold a commercial driver’s license, such as lorries, coaches, buses, and taxis, or those who have certain medical conditions that may affect their ability to drive safely. This includes conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, and heart conditions.
A D4 medical is an important safety measure to ensure that drivers can operate vehicles safely and reach the group 2 standard set out by the DVLA. It helps identify any medical conditions that may affect a driver’s ability to drive and ensures that the driver is taking any necessary medication or treatments to manage those conditions. Fundamentally, the medical is integral to help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries on the road.
A D4 medical includes the completion of the D4 form, a review of the driver’s medical history and then an examination of the driver’s health that includes a vision and blood pressure. They may request additional medical tests if necessary. The examination is designed to identify any medical conditions that may affect the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, and to ensure that the driver is taking any necessary medication or treatments to manage those conditions.
Are you worried about having high blood pressure during your D4 medical? Well don’t worry, keep reading and we will give you some tips to immediately help lower your readings. But first, let’s start with the main reason people fail their blood pressure during a driver medical.
If you’re feeling nervous about stepping into the clinic room, don’t panic, what you experience has a name: White Coat Syndrome. It’s a sudden spike in blood pressure whilst in a medical environment.
Tip 1: Cut down on that caffeine. We all love a cup of coffee in the morning, but studies show that caffeine can increase your blood pressure for up to 3 hours after consumption. So, let’s say you have a coffee, then an energy drink, then another coffee before your 12pm appointment. Your blood pressure will constantly be spiking up and down, giving inconsistent readings.
Tip 2: Now this might shock you a little. The average human is consuming around 3 teaspoons of salt a day. Do you know how much you should be aiming for? If you don’t, it’s less that one teaspoon.
Tip 3: If you are overweight, each kilogram of weight you lose lowers your blood pressure by around 1 millimetre of mercury. So, if you were to lose 10 pounds, you could take your systolic reading from 185 to 175, which is a pass! If you are carrying a little extra around the waistline, try going for daily short walks, cut down on the calories and see the pounds drop off.
Tip 4: Sleep. It’s simple – you need to get more of it. Getting too little sleep raises your blood pressure, as your body is fighting harder throughout the day to stay alert and awake. You need to be aiming for 7-8 hours of shut eye each night. But it’s not only about the amount of sleep you get, but the quality is also just as important. Avoid using your phone or tablet an hour before bed. Being exposed to blue light from devices can trick our brain into thinking it is still daytime, leaving us feeling alert instead of tired. You can also try turning the lights down an hour before bed as this will also tell your brain it is almost time to sleep.
It’s important to remember, having high blood pressure doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t pass a D4 medical. It just means that you might need to take some additional steps to bring it down before you’re passed, such as providing evidence that you have visited your GP and it is under control with medication.
The eye test isn’t as complex as the one you may have had at your opticians, it’s a simple vision assessment that takes no longer than 2 or 3 minutes. You will be asked to read out the letters on a Snellen chart, whilst standing 3 meters away and taking turns to cover each eye. If you do not usually require glasses or contact lenses for distance, then you will only have to do this test once, however if you do, you will be asked to put your glasses on and read from the chart again. The doctor will then ask you a few questions such as if you have previously been diagnosed with any eye conditions or had any surgery on your eyes. Simple.
Tip 1: Make sure your glasses or contact lenses are clean and in good condition. It sounds obvious, but dirty or damaged lenses may affect your performance during the eye test.
Tip 2: We recommend that you try to get a good quality sleep the night before your appointment. This is to ensure your eyes are well-rested, as tired, dry eyes can also affect your performance on the test. If you suffer from dry eyes, you can bring eye drops with you to use before your appointment.
Tip 3: Make sure you have your current glasses prescription. This is needed so that the doctor can record how strong your lenses are, and if you can’t find this don’t panic, a quick visit to your opticians is all that’s needed. Even better, try and remember the next time you visit the optician to ask them to write down your prescription, and keep it somewhere safe for your next medical to save you a trip.
If you do fail your D4 medical due to your eyesight, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to drive professionally again. It just means you might need to take a few extra steps to get back out on the road.
We hope this helps but if you do have any questions about your D4 Medical, please don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com.