Safe driving

Having diabetes does not mean that you have to give up driving, but it does mean that you need to plan in advance before you drive. Complications associated with diabetes can affect your ability to drive, as well as your risk and awareness of hypos. Take the following precautions if you’re planning to drive between home and university:

  • Keep hypo treatment kits in the car within easy reach at all times
  • Carry your glucose meter and blood glucose testing strips with you. Test your blood glucose before driving and test every 2 hours on long journeys
  • Take regular meals, snacks and rest periods on long journeys. Always avoid alcohol
  • Do not drive if your blood glucose level is less than 5 mmol/L. If so, have a small starchy snack, such as a couple of plain biscuits or a piece of fruit
  • If your blood glucose is less than 4mmol/L you will be unsafe to drive as your perception of, and reactions to hazards will be severely impaired
  • If you have a hypo while driving, stop the car as soon as possible. Remove the keys to demonstrate you are not in charge of the car, and move into the passenger seat if safe to do so. Treat the hypo as advised. You should not drive for at least 45 minutes after recovery because your response rate will be slower
  • Carry personal ID indicating that you have diabetes in case of injury in a road traffic accident
  • Ask your doctor or nurse for the relevant DVLA guidelines

For more information please speak to your healthcare team and/or the DVLA.