1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2019 »
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

feeling like you're about to hypo when driving

Discussion in 'Driving and DVLA' started by Mep, May 26, 2016.

  1. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    904
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Today I was driving home from work and still had some distance to go and started feeling funny like I was about to hypo. I was also yawning excessively and getting headachy. I had managed to check my sugar at 2 red lights (the first changed too quick) and was sitting on 5 exactly. I probably should've pulled over, but didn't have anywhere to pull over on that road. But going on how I was feeling I didn't figure that was safe to do nothing about as I drop super quick under 5. So I had a juice while driving.

    I get home 15 mins later and was sitting on 4.7, so had gone down .3. I figured in actual fact I would've been a lot less than that if I didn't have the juice (200ml). So I waited another 15 mins and finally it went up to 5.7. I figured I'd better eat before it drops again.

    But I'm so thankful my instinct to check was right as I could've easily hypo'd whilst driving. I'm glad I can pick up when my sugar is dropping quickly. My body starts warning me... it's definitely due to the quick drop though.

    Phew.
     
  2. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,704
    Likes Received:
    5,291
    Trophy Points:
    178
    If you feel hypo then don't bother to check just treat the symptoms and sort it out afterwards when you have a safe place to stop.
    I have found the easiest solution is to have jelly beans in a cup sized container placed in the drinks holder of my car so easy to reach and best of all they don't melt in the heat :)
     
    • Like Like x 6
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    18,171
    Likes Received:
    32,503
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Goodness, I WISH I had thought of this back in the days when I was hypoing a lot. Mind you, back then I didn't even have a testing kit.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    904
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Yeh well with me I have to be sure as it can literally be anything. Eg. if I have a migraine that can simulate a hypo on me at times, equally so does real low iron. I've panicked with both of those in the past thinking I was having a hypo and I wasn't... just spinning out and feeling awful. Of course I can get hypos as well with those 2 things but it's hard to tell which is which. The last thing I want to do is give myself a hyper I suppose. I try as best I can to check my level first.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,629
    Likes Received:
    19,625
    Trophy Points:
    278
    That's good that you have good hypo awareness symptoms @Mep

    This is the advice they give here in the UK with regards to safe driving and having a hypo whilst driving:

    Safe driving tips
    • Avoid delaying or missing meals and snacks
    • Take breaks on long journeys
    • Always keep hypo treatments to hand in the car
    • Do not drink alcohol and drive.
    Many of the accidents caused by hypoglycaemia are because drivers have continued to drive, ignoring their hypo warning signs (eg hunger, sweating, feeling faint). If you have a hypo whilst driving:

    • Stop the vehicle as soon as possible
    • Switch off the engine, remove the keys from the ignition and move from the driver’s seat
    • Take some fast-acting carbohydrate, such as glucose tablets or sweets, and some form of longer-acting carbohydrate.
    • Do not start driving until 45 minutes after blood glucose has returned normal.
    If you have poor warning signs, or have frequent hypos, you should probably not be driving because of the risk to yourself and others. Discuss this with your diabetes healthcare team. If your team advise you to notify the DVLA/DVA you must do so. If you fail to do this, your doctor has an obligation to do so on your behalf.

    https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Living_with_diabetes/Driving/
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    904
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Yeh luckily I caught it before I full on hypo'd. I certainly would've stopped if I was having a hypo for sure.

    I don't even think we have these sort of guidelines here... never seen any. It's only been in the last few years that they've made it mandatory to report medical conditions when renewing your licence. I now have to get annual medical assessments and they will allow allow me to renew my licence annually as opposed to every 5 years like I used to.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,629
    Likes Received:
    19,625
    Trophy Points:
    278
    The DVLA here are quite strict on hypo's and making sure drivers have good hypo awareness symptoms, insulin users can be issued with a 1, 2 or 3 years licence depending on what the medical dept of the DVLA decide.

    I'm lucky enough to have a 3 years licence which is up for renewal next year, I say lucky as I've had retinopathy issues in the past which can hinder things.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Cat0409_

    Cat0409_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    269
    Trophy Points:
    83
    @Mep we sure do have similar guidelines. I have just renewed my licence for 5 years with Annual medical certificate on. Its supposed to be on your medical certificate that you must carry that you must be over 5.0 prior to driving. Your medical certificate is also supposed to be stamped by the office which sites your medical certificate when you paid your Annual renewal.
    We are also supposed to report changes in meds, hospitalizations etc where it is seems that you can put someone else in danger. I know I've had to report to my Dr to get a clearance every time in the last 5 years, 2 times were heart attacks. If you read the information on the medical certificate (not the medical certificate, the two page form) it is very clear
    I had a huge argument about this fact with a Girl friend who had a very serious brain injuries and did not think it concerned her, the road, her Specialists and her GP all set her atraight
     
  9. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    904
    Trophy Points:
    173
    A medical certificate that we carry with us? I've never had that. I get annual medical assessments by my doc though... he faxes his assessment straight to licensing and I get my licence when I renew it stating I have a medical condition on the licence. That's it. Maybe you're in a different state to me?
     
  10. Cat0409_

    Cat0409_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    269
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Yep I am in qld. I understand that the medical certificate must be carried in all states. Perhaps you should ring and ask your RTA or whatever it is called in WA.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    904
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Yeh the only requirement in WA is you must report medical conditions & have medical assessments. i'm only allowed to renew annually too. There is no requirement for a med cert as it's stated on my licence.
     
  12. Cat0409_

    Cat0409_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    269
    Trophy Points:
    83
    If you have an M licence im pretty sure you do.
    I understood that all states were pretty much standardized apart from some age requirements for learner drivers
     
  13. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    904
    Trophy Points:
    173
    I've never heard of an M licence here. I have a C licence. It has written on it "take medication as prescribed by medical practitioner". That's all we have here. You're in a different state, so different rules I'd say.

    Our rules say "A medical certificate is required before next renewal." That is done when my doc does the medical assessment every year and he sends it through to licensing. I get the assessment in the mail that has to be taken to my doc... it goes through the whole am I fit to drive stuff with a certification he has to sign. There is nothing that says I have to carry a medical certificate at all times either. I'm not sure if that is what you mean where you live? On the actual licence itself no matter what your medical condition is... this is their policy here:
    Specific details of any medical condition that you report to us will not be displayed on your licence. The only items that will be displayed on your licence are:

    • Information concerning the need to take medication for a medical condition. No specific information about your condition or the treatment will be added to your licence. Your licence will be updated with the phrase: To take medication as prescribed.
    • Information detailing any visual aids you need in order to drive safely. Your licence will be updated with the phrase: To wear suitable visual aids whilst driving.
    Of course they have on their records what my medical conditions are.... so any checks done on my licence by police, etc.. will probably show more details I'd say.

    So the only thing I carry on me is my licence which states the above. I'm not allowed to renew my licence for 5 years either (we only have 1 year or 5 years option). So that means I have to have annual medical assessments and pay the licence fee annually.
     
    #13 Mep, May 27, 2016 at 9:44 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2016
  14. Cat0409_

    Cat0409_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    269
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Have just done some research and under Austroads of which WA is a party as are all states.
    The following is an excerpt from the section on diabetes. It is a downloadable document

    Advice to drivers
    .... Drive should be advised to take precautionary steps to help avoid a severe hypo for example by

    *complying with specific medical review requirements
    *not driving if there BG is less than 5mmol
    *not driving more than 2 hours without considering a snack
    *not delaying or missing a meal
    *self monitoring BG levels before driving and every 2 hours during a journey
    *carrying adequate glucose in the vehicle for treatment
    *treating mild hypoglyceamia if symptoms occur while driving including
    -safely steering to the side of the road
    -turning off the engine and removing the Keys from the ignition
    -self treating the low BG
    -checking the low BG levels 15 mins or more after the hypo has been treated and ensuring it is above 5 mmol
    -not recommence driving until feeling well and until at least 30 mins after the BG level is above 5mmol


    I think that pretty much sums it up. You should have pulled over and treated and waited till you were over 5. The rules for diabetics is the same all over Australia
     
    • Like Like x 2
    #14 Cat0409_, May 27, 2016 at 10:41 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2016
  15. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    904
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Yeh I already know that information, although it wasn't given to me by licensing here. I learnt all that from searching the internet. It's common sense too of course. I didn't receive any specific information at all from licensing here... they just make sure I'm meeting their requirements to get my licence pretty much. Mind you the reporting of medical conditions is a relatively new thing for WA. It only was introduced a few years back.
     
  16. Cat0409_

    Cat0409_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    269
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The rule changed in from memory 2007 so 9 years ago.
    Its common sense to test before you drive... Thats right there is no such thing.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    904
    Trophy Points:
    173
    yeh right ;) It was 2008 that they introduced reporting of medical conditions here. And yes common sense can mean a different thing to most people. But generally speaking most people aren't clueless... just the minority that don't bother to investigate for themselves and do the wrong thing. But I can tell you that I was not advised by licensing how to manage my condition on the road. I guess they leave that to your medical practitioner to advise you.
     
  18. Cat0409_

    Cat0409_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    269
    Trophy Points:
    83
    But you are aware!
    You still drove while you were under 5!
    You chose to continue on and were lucky.. Next time you might not be.
    Maybe you can pass the message on to other diabetics...
     
  19. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    904
    Trophy Points:
    173
    No I didn't... I was 5 and was only feeling like I was about to hypo.... not having a hypo. I wasn't actually having a hypo when I checked. I had a juice straight away. I was fine. I only dropped to 4.7 and that was a test I did at home, not in the car. I hypo below 4.5 usually.
     
    #19 Mep, May 27, 2016 at 11:42 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2016
  20. Cat0409_

    Cat0409_ Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    269
    Trophy Points:
    83
    A hypo whilst driving is under 5!
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook