Driving precautions when you have diabetes

If you have diabetes and low blood sugar and you drive, your ability to steer the car may be affected. You also could behave aggressively or appear to be drunk if your blood sugar gets very low.

There is no reason why people with diabetes should not be allowed to drive. However, you should take the following precautions:

  • Wear medical identification at all times. In an emergency, medical identification will let people know how to care for you. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to get medical identification. Also, see the Other Places to Get Help section of the topic Type 1 Diabetes: Living With the Disease.
  • Carry some quick-sugar foods with you at all times. These include raisins, hard candy, or fruit juice. Keep some in your car in case you have low blood sugar while driving and need to stop and eat something.
  • Plan your trips so that you will not miss or delay a meal, if possible. If a trip will delay a meal, eat a snack before leaving.
  • Always have your home blood sugar meter with you, and check your blood sugar level if you think it may be low. If you have low blood sugar often or you do not get the usual symptoms of it, test your blood sugar before you drive. Consider having someone else drive.
  • If your blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL before you drive, do not drive until you have eaten something to raise it. Before driving, check to make sure it has risen to your target range.

Last Updated: December 9, 2009

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