1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. 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
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

MP's campaign to force testing before driving

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by iddt01, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. jls1110

    jls1110 · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Hi, This is my first post :D

    I have always been told I must test before driving but I have only been diabetic for 4 years and I just wanted to share my experience. I had only been type 1 diabetic for 2 years and had informed the DVLA and issued a 3 year licence as I was fit to drive.

    One morning on leaving the house my BG was 10.0 which for me was pretty normal, took my insulin grabbed my usual cereal bar and got in the car to work, 10 minutes later I felt odd I was a traffic lights on a main road (no where to pull over) and thought I better test it was 1.5 and I started to panic trying to drive to a shop for juice (I had things in the car but at that point my brain went to mush). I managed to make it to the shop however I never got out the car I passed out and luckily a passer by seen me and called for help.

    I didn't actually have an accident and no damage to my car however in the process of trying to get to a shop I must have been driving extremely erratically as I managed to fracture a vertebrae in my back which was only discovered when I was in A&E when I started to come around and complaining of back pain and because I was completely out of it they had no reason to suspect my injury so was walked from my car to the ambulance and then out of the ambulance onto a trolley. I was in hospital for 6 days had a back brace on for 8 weeks and off work for 3 months and as a result as I had lost hypo awareness I had to surrender my driving licence which was only returned once my consultant signed off that I was fit again to drive this was 7 months in total. I just keep thinking I could have killed or injured someone and would never forgive myself.

    I have been assured that my experience is pretty uncommon but my diabetes team at my hospital cannot explain why I dropped so quickly, I have now changed my insulin and after being on a DAFNE course I only take in accordance to what I eat, I am still pretty weary about going low and now tend to get signs when its around 5.

    I urge everyone please test before drive if you value your life and the lives of others and your driving licence!

    I didn't realise this was going to be like war and peace :)
     
  2. cugila

    cugila · Master

    Messages:
    10,272
    Likes Received:
    98
    Trophy Points:
    118
    Yes. That's the trouble this is an emotive subject and we all have our own opinions about what we should and shouldn't do before driving.

    Matters not whether you are Type 1, Type 2, diet only.....everybody has to use their common sense and decide what to do. If they come 'unstuck'.....that is their problem that they will have to deal with along with any consequences. I wouldn't drive if I felt unwell for whatever reason.......be they low or high Bg levels. Both are not good. I don't agree with a 'blanket' law covering all though.

    My thoughts, my choice...... :)
     
  3. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,771
    Likes Received:
    2,162
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Couple of things.

    (1) Could you please explain to me (scientifically) how a T2 diabetic (as I understand it someopne who cannot effectively lower their blood glucose to normal levels) can suffer a hypo without at least semi starvation? How did you induce the hypo? Finally how common is it for T2s who are not taking medication to suffer hypos? Is it more common than non-diabetics suffering hypos?

    (2) Just because you personally have suffere a hypo does not mean that all diagnosed T2 diabetics who are not on medication should test before driving. This is totally unscientific. You would have to show that at least a significant minority of non-medicated T2s are susceptible to hypos under normal conditions and that this is more common than for non-diabetics.

    Again, please, please, please - DIAGNOSED diabetics.
    There are masses of undiagnosed diabetics out there.
    No legislation could ever be put in place to require people who are unaware of their medical condition to be responsible for testing blood glucose levels before driving unless this was applied to the whole population.
    Which gets us right back to wholesale medical screening.

    Cheers

    LGC
     
  4. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

    Messages:
    10,098
    Likes Received:
    232
    Trophy Points:
    133
     
  5. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,771
    Likes Received:
    2,162
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Sue,

    thanks for the explanation.

    If I understand it correctly you have controlled your diabetes so well that you are maintaining normal levels, and can respond like a non-diabetic to too much exercise without eating enough (by having a hypo).

    If this is correct (unless diabetes makes you more vulnerable to hypos, which again would be an interesting discussion*) then you are responding like a non-diabetic.

    This in turn means that this is not a diabetic issue as such - you sometimes get "faint with hunger" just like most people would in similar circumstances.

    As it happens you are more aware of BG levels than a non-diabetic and have the equipment to test BG levels.

    The point I am trying to make is that your personal circumstances do not seem to be directly relevant to the main strand of the argument - should all (diagnosed) diabetics be made by law to test before driving.

    If you are prone to hypos and have a testing kit it is responsible to test.

    If you are a non-diabetic and you feel faint with hunger whilst driving it is responsible to eat something and in future avoid the circumstances which caused the problem.

    However these circumstances are not suited to specific new legislation and this thread is mainly about new legislation to force diabetics to test.

    Some posters seem to favour a blanket law covering all diabetics.
    This is why I keep banging on about DIAGNOSED diabetics :)
    Anything that starts "All diabetics should...." seems logically wrong to me.

    As I see it, the real risks are where the body's natural mechanisms are being over-ridden by drugs and so the natural balancing act (such as a liver dump) is unlikely to happen. When drugs (especially insulin) force glucose out of the blood there is a constant manual balancing act by the self medicator. In turn, if the self-medicator becomes irrational and/or unconcious due to low BG then there is no feedback mechanism and all sorts of life threatening problems can occur.

    Cheers

    LGC

    * If you use more energy than you take in you lose weight.
    If your body cannot release enough energy quickly to match your immediate exercise level you hypo, or at least your body refuses to sustain the exercise level.
    I'm not sure how a hypo differs from "hitting the wall" when you are e.g. running long distances such as a half or full marathon. Is "the wall" a level of control which prevents you entering a hypo by shutting down your ability of burn energy?

    I am wondering a couple of things:

    (1) If you are diabetic and have problems getting glucose out of your blood and into your tissues do you also have the same problem in reverse - you can't get the glucose out again as effectively as a non-diabetic? Is the liver, perhaps, a little slow to dump into the bloodstream when BG goes low? Has your body learned to over-produce insulin because you were insulin resistant and now you have lowered your insulin resistance you are releasing more insulin than you need?

    (2) Can a diabetic only maintain normal or near normal BG levels by maintaining a very low reserve of glucose in the tissues and thus be more susceptible to hypos if the energy demand increases?
     
  6. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

    Messages:
    10,098
    Likes Received:
    232
    Trophy Points:
    133
    I think we are in danger here of losing the original topic so before it is totally derailed here is the original post on the subject.

     
  7. CollieBoy

    CollieBoy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    5,573
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Sue I suggest we split the discussion into the original and the discussion of "Glucose level control in T2 diabetics"
    WRT the original topic, I would welcome the requirement to test before driving WITH the requirement to provide strips for testing, however given the ability of the law making apparatus to foul things up I fear the resulting fuzzy poorly worded legislation resulting :shock:
     
  8. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,672
    Likes Received:
    3,674
    Trophy Points:
    178
    The petition posted about earlier in the thread only mentions people on insulin, not all diabetics,
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/test-before-driving/
     
  9. CollieBoy

    CollieBoy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    5,573
    Trophy Points:
    178
    The original petition may only be "all insulin injecting diabetics" but the lawmakers in their infinite wisdom :twisted: will "horlicks" it up to all diabetics :shock:
     
  10. bowell

    bowell · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Would we then have a legal Road traffic Act min BG level say <4.6
    How are the police going to know your a insulin user ? (when pulled over)
    40% insulin users do not report this fact to DVLA now ?
    Who would do the blood testing ?
    How long is it going to take for blood to be taken ?
    Will you be stooped from eating before the test ?
    Whats to stop you downing few jelly babies fast :D ?
    My meter is not always set with correct date/time

    I do not disagree with BG testing when diving
    i always have tested

    However
    When we have road traffic laws already in place now ,
    that prosecute us if we are found to be driving under the influence Drugs
    Dangerous driving
    Driving without due care and attention

    Do we rally need more laws that would be costly and nearly impossible to police
    Inform and educate would have far better results thats the tack used for Alcohol

    Why don't we Force drink divers to test first :?:
     
  11. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

    Messages:
    13,230
    Likes Received:
    12,474
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Could an adminstrator take up our view points and ask the relevent people?
     
  12. JUSTFOCUS

    JUSTFOCUS · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    i ask everyone posting
    if your child was killed or your partener or parents were ,of a diabetic person on a hypo. Honestly would any single one of you just take it or would you be angry over the ignorance of the diabetic driver. Now before anyone goes offensive on this post .Think and put yourself behind the wheel then give your answer, i hope that even one person takes this on board that someone gets were i'm coming from :wink:
    JF.
     
  13. mehdave

    mehdave Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    58
    I see his point but all it says to me is that people shouldnt make knee jerk reactions to tragic events. Its the main problem with all the silly rules in this country as it is. OMG ban it crowd.

    There are allot worse things on our road and country that need dealt with first than a restrictive and costly practice that would be impossible to police.
     
  14. HLW

    HLW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    58
    When I wrote off my car,I think they tested my blood sugar before I told them I was diabetic. I am not 100% sure what order things happened in, I was not altogether with it, but I do think the blood sugar testing was before I told them I was on insulin.

    So it might be standard procedure if they suspect a hypo (I was slurring my words and confused). It wasn't a hypo btw.
     
  15. oldhand

    oldhand · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    The last post shows just how pointless compulsory bloodtesting before driving would be. You had a reeading of 10.0 before leaving the house. You had your usual breakfast. However, you still had a hypo. The blood test reading told you nothing about your likelihood of a hypo while driving.
    Diabetics are no worse a risk to other drivers than, say, people without enough sleep (e.g. the Selby incdent) or people on anti-depressants or people with cardiac disease. There are examples of people with all of these conditions falling asleep or dying at the wheel. Yet nobody suggests that there should be a law requiring a driver to have slept for at least 7 hours before driving. Diabetics should be careful not to let themselves be bullied by Health & Safety fanatics or Nanny-State legislators and should insist on evidence based regulation, if any.
     
  16. grh1904

    grh1904 · Active Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Interesting topic this, and one which I suspect there is no "correct" answer to.

    As a serving Police officer who controls his diabetes by insulin, to enforce me to test "EVERY" time I go to get behind the wheel could (on a duty day) result in me testing upwards of 10 times every shift; let me give you an example: -

    On duty at 7am and detailed to an immediate response RTC at 7:15am.

    On scene at RTC for about 30mins.

    Left scene to go to the hospital to speak to injured driver.

    At hospital for about 20 mins while obtaining details, verbal account of what happened & waiting for a colleague to bring a breathalyser.

    Left hospital to attend home of partner of injured party to inform them & was with them for about 10mins.

    Return to station to update control room & complete my accident report.

    I was in the station for about 10/15mins doing this when I was detailed to attend a local primary school (time approx 8:45am??), report of 2 parents arguing over a child, school were aware of the separated parents as child was on the at risk register and violent dad had turned up "demanding" to see child before mother had let it walk through school gates.

    After spending about 30mins at this scene (speaking to both parents & school staff) I return to station.
    So by my count that's 6 tests of my BG in under 2 hrs: -

    1. Before I set off to RTC.
    2. Before leaving RTC to go to hospital.
    3. Before leaving hospital to go inform NOK.
    4. Before leaving house to return to station.
    5. Before leaving to attend school.
    6. Before returning to station as I leave the school.

    It would be totally impractical for me to comply with this law due to the complexities of my particular job, and in order for me to retain my role as a frontline PC and also retain my "ticket" for the blues & twos elemant of Police response driving, I have to satisfy my force occupational health department on a regular basis that not only do I have good BG control but I am also hypo aware & can & indeed do suffer the sysmptoms onset. By that I mean that I am not immune to experiencing the onset of a hypo, as soon as I become unware of the onset I have no doubt my ticket will be suspended & I'll be reassigned to non-operational duties etc pending further reviews.

    Regardless of whether it becomes law to test yourself every time you go to drive, or whether there is a lower limit you're not allowed to drive under (someone posted earlier in the thread 5.7 ?? I believe); if a diabetic criver suffers a hypo while driving they could be prosecuted under Sect4 RTA, that is unfir through drink and/or drugs.

    I'm not a traffic cop so not an "expert" in RTA law, but this legislation covers a person being unfit to drive as a result of a drug(s) whether legal/prescribed or otherwise. In esence if a person administers a drug of any kind and that drug does indeed impair their ability to such an extent that they had an accident then Sect4 would come into play, i.e. they were unfit to drive through drugs.

    Personally, I'm more in favour of a medical before a licence is issued, then perhaps a routine medical every 5 years or so. It doesn't have to be a lengthy or expensive medical, just a visit to the docs with a blood test which could highlight things like diabetes, heart/liver/kidney trouble etc.

    This would help with all the so-called "undiagnosed" problems.
     
  17. cugila

    cugila · Master

    Messages:
    10,272
    Likes Received:
    98
    Trophy Points:
    118
    grh. All very interesting as a defence why a Police Officer should be exempt from such legislation if it ever became Law. Personally I doubt it will ever get enacted.

    I was interested to hear what you had to say.......I note that you mention 'Response' driving as a Diabetic on Insulin. Is that normal response vehicles or much higher performance vehicles which would require an Advanced Driving qualification to sit behind the wheel ?

    Many Forces still do not follow the same guidelines regarding Diabetic's and it seems a very grey area for anybody considering becoming a Police Officer, especially if you wish to progress to an Advanced Driving Standard and maybe take up a role in Traffic Enforcement or Firearms etc.

    The DVLA guidance states that ‘drivers with insulin treated diabetes should not drive emergency vehicles’. However, this does come with a caveat saying that ‘it is for others to decide whether or how those recommendations should be interpreted for their own areas of interest, in knowledge of their specific circumstances.’ Whilst this does allow forces to decide for themselves whether to follow the DVLA guidance, many err on the side of caution and operate what is in effect a blanket ban without taking full account of the individual’s circumstances. Individual assessments etc..... Is that the way forward I wonder ?

    It just seems at odds with fairness and justice to all that some Forces seem to allow ID Diabetic's to drive when others are prevented from doing so. It also seems at odds with the present regulations which prevent a Driver of a LGV or a PCV from Driving once diagnosed, yet seemingly a Police Officer travelling at high speed seems to be treated differently.......in the eyes of the Law......confusing ?
     
  18. JUSTFOCUS

    JUSTFOCUS · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Don't frett folks
    as this is the time when they excersize this law .The test strips will have to be made available at a reasonable cost :wink:
    Take a back seat on this one as this will work out in favour and possibly get reductions on some peoples car insurance be 8) 8) 8) and be :lol: :lol: :lol: at your none giving strips D'rs . Don't you just love these MP's for putting themselves in it deep :wink:
     
  19. grh1904

    grh1904 · Active Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    I have had a MAJOR argument with DVLA over the removal of my CAT C & D entitlement. For example I can drive with blues & twos on a major road in my town at 60 or 70mph in a 30mph, or (subject to passing the advanced driving course) partake in a 140mph pursuit on the motorway that runs through my area, BUT if we all decided to have a jolly boys (or girls!!!) outing to the sea I would not be allowed to drive the mini-bus we hired to get there. When I queried this with the DVLA I was advised "YES, BUT IF THERE WAS A CRASH & PEOPLE DIED IT WOULD BE YOUR FAULT", when I put it to them that it might not be my fault I was again advised "YES WE KNOW THAT BUT AS A DIABETIC THE BLAME WOULD ALWAYS FALL AT YOUR DOOR!!!!!".

    When I asked how do I go about challenging this I was told that I would need to take the Secretary of State to court and - wait for this one...............................

    "NO ONE HAS EVER TAKEN THE GOVERNMENT TO COURT & WON; ARE YOU RICH 'COS IT WOULD TAKE A LOT OF MONEY TO DO THAT...............
     
  20. cugila

    cugila · Master

    Messages:
    10,272
    Likes Received:
    98
    Trophy Points:
    118
    Much too late to answer you now........I'll see you tomorrow...... :wink:
     
  • 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