education

Driving with diabetes

For a person with diabetes, driving safely is more than just watching where you are going; it’s also watching where your blood sugar is going.

People taking insulin, sulfonylureas or short acting insulin secretagogues as repaglinide (Prandin) or nateglinide (Starlix) are at risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

Even moderate levels of hypoglycemia (60-70 mg/dl) may be enough to interfere with your judgment and driving.



The following tips can help to make driving safer for you and your fellow drivers:
•   Plan your trip carefully so that you won’t miss a meal or snack.

Before getting behind the wheel, stop to check your blood sugar. If it is below 70 mg/dl, take some carbohydrate. Don’t start the car until you recheck your blood sugar and make sure it is above 70 mg/dl.

Think about the length of your drive and whether the carbohydrate you just ate will be enough to keep your blood sugar in a safe range until you arrive.

Keep your blood glucose monitoring equipment and hypoglycemia treatment within reach.

Check your blood sugar regularly during your journey and pull off the road at the first sing of a low. Treat it and wait 20-30 minutes until you are sure that your blood sugar is in the safe range.

Wear a medical alert bracelet or neck charm. If you become hypoglycemic despite these precautions, erratic driving may cause an accident or bring you to the attention of the police. Without some from form of identification on your body, an officer or medical personnel may assume you are drunk or on drugs. A wallet card may not be found until it’s too late.
No one advocates taking away the licenses of people with diabetes, but driving is a responsibility and a privilege, not a right. Only you can prevent fatal accidents.
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