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Driving With Diabetes

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by jasmine1616, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. jasmine1616

    jasmine1616 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    So, I recently got my learners permit, so I can figure how to drive. But one time when I was driving, my glucose began to drop so my father had to drive me the rest of the way. Do you recommend checking my glucose every time before I drive, or just keep a snack in the car just in case I feel my glucose dropping? I don't want to put anyone in danger. Thanks!
     
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  2. buffyiscool

    buffyiscool Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The DVLA and my diabetic nurse recommend testing before driving and if it's a long distance drive testing again every two hours. Jelly Babies are supposed to be good if blood sugars start dropping. Hope this helps. Regards
    Colin.
     
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  3. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jasmine, you are actually required by law to inform dvla in your circumstances and then (provided they have no other reasons to suspend your licence) you would HAVE to test prior to driving.
     
  4. db89

    db89 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jasmine, I believe you're located in the US so the rules and guidelines are probably different (and may vary state to state as I understand) and don't apply. I'm tagging @TheBigNewt as I think he's in an insulin user in your country and may be able to offer his experience or point you in the right direction.

    Personally, I stick with our guidelines and eat something if below 5.0mmol/l or 90mg/dl, test every 2 hours during driving and do not drive for at least 45 minutes after resolving a hypo.
     
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  5. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    In the US I'm not aware of any state that puts something on your driver's license saying you take insulin like they do in the UK. When I apply for a new license it asked if I had any medical condition that might affect my ability to drive. I said no. But I do test before I drive sometimes depending on when I took insulin last, and keep candy in the door pocket. And I have a glucometer on my person all the time that works with my phone. I have patients who have implanted defibrillators who can drive. I think if the thing goes kablooey while you're driving and you end up trashing somebody's mailbox they might yank your license though.
     
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  6. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @jasmine1616 As mentioned already you should test before you drive, if you are below 5 mmol/l then really you shouldn't drive, even though US laws are different to the UK. As you are learning and it's going to drain you mentally as you adapt and get used to learning a new skill I would recommend aiming to be above 6.5mmol/l-7mmol/l before you set out and test every hour, and keep glucose close to hand, best to be safe than sorry :)
     
  7. phdiabetic

    phdiabetic Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I like your approach! A sensible, well controlled type 1 should not have their driving affected by diabetes. It's the noncompliant ones who make all this trouble for the rest of us. I hate the about 5 to drive rule - plenty of normal people drive around with a blood sugar in the 4's, so why not me? I'd much rather be driving with a stable 4.9 than a dropping 5.1, but according to the rules I should do the exact opposite. I use common sense rather than adhering to some arbitrary number they plucked out of thin air. And if I feel funny, regardless of blood sugar level, I'll wait till I get better before I start driving around. Same as normal people should do!
     
  8. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've had 4 potentially bad things happen to me driving because of hypoglycemia in 32 years, and 2 of them were noticed by someone beforehand who asked me if I was OK (I said yes) and who did not know I had diabetes. Or they would have gotten me a Coke. I learned too late that you gotta tell people what you have. And wear a "Medic Alert" type bracelet that says you take insulin all the time that has a logo on it. If fact I'll start a thread on that here.......
     
  9. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Normal people have a working pancreas that works in tandem with the liver, so when blood glucose levels are low the liver kicks in and dumps a load of glucose, which the pancreas then keeps at a normal level, all nice and balanced. Normal healthy people will not hypo. The liver won't allow it.

    Before all these DVLA rules came in I was unfortunate enough to be a passenger in a car driven by a very responsible intelligent T1 with plenty of common sense and certainly not non-compliant, but he hypo'd. It was a terrifying experience, and only because his wife grabbed the steering wheel did we avoid what could have been a very serious accident. He thought he was in a dodgem car and was weaving in and out of pavement furniture outside a row of shops on a wide pavement.
     
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