FMCSA Guidance: X-ray Exam After CMV Accident Not a DOT Reportable “Medical Treatment”

X-ray Exam After CMV Accident Not a DOT Reportable "Medical Treatment"

FMCSA revised its regulatory guidance on what constitutes a “medical treatment” to determine whether an accident is DOT-reportable.

The agency now says that when an individual receives an x-rays exam after an accident, this alone does not qualify as “medical treatment”.

Therefore, the accident would not be DOT-reportable unless the accident meets some other accident definition.

This change now aligns with OSHA designations of “Medical Treatment” and is a huge help to understand previous grey areas.

What Is A DOT “Reportable” Accident?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations define Accident as an occurrence involving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operating on a highway in interstate or intrastate commerce which results in:

  1. a fatality
  2. bodily injury to a person who, as a result of the injury, receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident, or
  3. one or more motor vehicles being towed from the scene (49 CFR 390.5T)

DOT recordable crashes need to be entered on the company’s accident register. The DOT does not consider fault or preventability with respect to DOT-recordable accidents.

It is important to emphasize that drug and alcohol testing is only required for a reportable crash that involves the driver being issued a citation.

Read More: 10 Steps When Dealing with a Vehicle Breakdown

FMCSA Guidance

Question 27: A person is transported to a hospital from the scene of a commercial motor vehicle traffic accident. In one situation, the person undergoes observation or a checkup. Is this considered “medical treatment,” making the CMV occurrence an “accident” for purposes of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?

In another situation, the person undergoes x-ray examination or is given a prescription but is released from the facility without being admitted as an inpatient. Is the x-ray or prescription considered “medical treatment,” making the CMV occurrence an “accident” for purposes of the FMCSRs?

Guidance: In the first situation, no. A person who does not receive treatment for diagnosed injuries or other medical intervention directly related to the accident, has not received “medical treatment” as that term is used in 49 CFR 390.5 or 390.5T.

In the second situation, a person who undergoes an x-ray examination (or other imaging, such as computed tomography or CT) has not received “medical treatment.” The x-ray examination is a diagnostic procedure but is not considered “medical treatment.”

However, a person who is given prescription medication (or the prescription itself) has received “medical treatment.”

Read the FMCSA Guidance here.

DOT Training and Safety Meetings

Our DOT trainers offer a variety of in-person, or online training courses for the specific needs or weaknesses of your company, including daily pre and post-trip inspections.

Fleet management and driver training education is a very valuable resource to ensure a healthy fleet and compliant safety practices.

Our trainers can tailor training to your specific operation.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or

Questions about DOT Compliance, Licensing, Audits, Programs, etc.?

Our DOT Specialists are here to help!

Related news

Related news