Driving a semi truck is no easy task, and doing it without the use of both legs may seem impossible. However, although not common, it is possible for an amputee to drive a semi truck with some modifications.
An amputee who wishes to drive a semi truck must first obtain a medical waiver from the United States Department of Transportation before they can apply for a commercial driver’s license. This waiver will allow them to operate a vehicle despite their disability by granting them certain exemptions from the standard requirements. Some of these exemptions include having access to an accelerator pedal that can be operated with one foot and a specialized brake pedal that can be operated by either hand.
Once the medical waiver has been obtained, the amputee must then enroll in a certified training program for commercial drivers.
These programs provide instruction on all aspects of operating a large commercial vehicle safely and efficiently, including maneuvering around tight corners, shifting gears properly, and understanding important regulations regarding cargo weight limits and hazardous materials transport. Specialized instructors are available to help amputees learn how to operate the modified controls in their vehicle.
After completing the training program, amputees must pass the same tests required of all other commercial drivers in order to receive their license. The tests include both written and practical components which assess an individual’s knowledge of driving laws and their ability to safely operate a large vehicle.
It is possible for an amputee to drive a semi truck with some modifications and waivers granted by the United States Department of Transportation. With specialized instruction from certified training programs and passing all required tests, an amputee can become an experienced driver just like anyone else!