Guidelines for Diabetic Drivers

Having diabetes does not mean that your license will be suspended, but there may be some restrictions put on you though. What you need to do is contact your motor vehicle department to get more information on what is allowed in your country. Each country will have different rules and regulations concerning driving with diabetes. Also it may make a difference which type of diabetes you have; whether it is type 1 or type 2 diabetes. You will need to inform your doctor and if he or she certifies that your diabetes is under control then there should not be much of a problem driving.

How you will need to inform about your diabetes

You will need to inform your motor vehicles department and you will need to inform your car insurance company as well.

Generally speaking people with low blood sugar levels, insulin dependent diabetes   type 1, are not automatically denied a driving license without sufficient evidence that they are not capable of driving a car. Type 1 diabetics cannot be revoked or be denied renewal of their license on the sole premise that they are diabetics.

Conditions that could affect driving resulting from Type 2 diabetes

If the diabetes is controlled, there is no problem, but uncontrolled high blood levels sugar levels in type 2 diabetes can present the following problems for driving:

  • Impaired hearing and mobility.
  • Impaired vision from certain diabetic eye disease such as Retinopathy Kidney Disease
  • Heart disease
  • Vascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Incidents of diabetic hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

Driving responsibilities for diabetes with Type 1 diabetes

You must be a responsible driver, as would any driver, but as a diabetic with low blood sugar you have to be even more responsible. You have to make sure you do not drive for hours on end without eating and if you are feeling dizzy or your blood sugar has dropped you have to be responsible enough to pull over on the side of the road.

Hypoglycemia can impair your driving ability, again if your low blood sugar levels are controlled there is no reason why you cannot drive or you cannot maintain your driving license. As long as you have maintained a good driving record you will keep your driving license.

Things you need to do

Keep your blood sugar levels under control, take your medication and make sure you have plenty of food in the car if you are driving for long periods, and make sure you have small quantities of food, in case your blood sugar level drops while driving for a short period as well.

If you feel a low coming on, pull over and have your food or juice in a place where you will remember to find it, the closer it is to you the better. Keeping your food in the front passenger seat, or the glove compartment is much better than in a locked suitcase in the trunk of your car. You want to get to it as quickly as possible. It is important to remember the place you have your food stored because when you are having a sugar low your mind in not clear and functioning well and you don’t need to be hunting all around the car for your food and or medication. Also remember on long trips that certain foods spoil faster than others, orange juice does not preserve well but apple juice will preserve longer.

You need to know how many tablets you normally need to control your blood glucose and then have at least four times that amount on hand when you are driving.

Stay off the road until your blood sugar levels have come back to normal. Also have your diabetes test equipment, diabetes monitor etc, close at hand; like the food you do not want to be rummaging all around your car to find it.

If you can follow these instructions you will never risk losing your driver’s license because of illness or impaired driving.

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