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A recent study in "Diabetes Care" looks at the decisions you make about whether to drive or not while having low blood glucose. Driving with severe hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) may impair driving performance and increase your chances of getting a traffic ticket or having an accident.
People with type 1 diabetes and normal awareness or poor awareness of low blood glucose, and people with type 2 diabetes with normal awareness of low blood glucose participated. Some of the type 2 people were on insulin and others on diabetes pills that could cause low blood glucose.
In general, those with type 1 diabetes and normal awareness appeared to make safe decisions about driving with low blood glucose, those with type 1 diabetes and poor awareness of low blood glucose levels often made the decision to drive when they shouldn't.
Those with type 2 diabetes and normal awareness often made potentially dangerous decisions about driving and low blood glucose. In the type 2 group, participants were older and many were on oral diabetes medication only.
The study shows that if you have diabetes, you aren't always so good at determining whether you should drive while having low blood glucose prior to or during driving.
What should you do? Test your blood glucose prior to driving, especially if you have poor awareness of low blood glucose. If it is below 100 mg/dl or 5.5 mmol/L, eat carbohydrates and don't drive until the blood glucose is above 100 mg/dl or 5.5 mmol/L. If the drive will be a long distance, check your blood glucose every 2 hours.
Several years ago at traffic school the instructor reminded us that driving is a privilege, not a right.
Have a good week!
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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I can assure you, no matter what someone told you at MVA, police officers do not check your blood sugar levels ! I think we're going a bit too far here, and I agree the 100 level isn't realistic.
My father has type 2 diabetes and he rarely checks his blood sugar, and because of this, it's caused a car accident, and almost more accidents.
I contracted type1 diabetes 30 years ago. I was 27. I have 9 lives. I have been in two accidents were I was at fault for driving when in an insulin reaction, low blood sugar. I was lucky that I didn't kill some one. My diabetic specialist at that time had me sign a document that stated I wouldn't drive without knowing my glucose readings. I really am aware of my capablilities when I have low blood sugar readings. Over the years my alert system has numbed abit so I don't have all the warning signs.
Marvin: Check with your healthcare provider. You may be on too much Lantus and need an insulin program change.
I have diabetes type 2. Having some trouble keeping my blood sugar low, Below 200.
I went to Taco bell and had some soft tacos (4), I eat the ground beef only. My blood sugar went down fast (171 to 114) and is still dropping, time frame (7:00 pm to 01:42 am). This has happen to me before. Is there anything in the tacos that would cause that ?? I use insulin Lantus 100 units a day.
I am 72 years old and cannot drive long distances.
I am a type II and I am tightly controlled and keep my blood sugar under 100 at all times and under 120 two hours after meals. I am on Lantus and oral drugs. I usually can tell when I am getting low, but even so, why over 100? So they are recommending I put my tight control out the window so to speak to drive? I am not impaired when I am in the 70-90 range.
I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for 36 years, I am 64 years old. I absolutely must check my BS prior to driving, it must be 6 or above before doing so. My endocronologist advised me a few years ago that I am putting at risk many people including myself. He would have my drivers license revoked if I did not comply with this rule. My body gives me no internal signals about a low sugar level. Externally, people around me know something is wrong. Reason..is the first thing to go along with the ability to have normal conversations. A few years ago I went out to get milk (the store was a few blocks away) on the way back I could not find my house and drove around the neighbourhood for some time. It was luck that I found my home. My garage light was the only one on in our block.
In Maryland, being stopped, ticketed, and being found driving under the influence of low blood sugar results in an immediate suspension of your driving privileges. I was informed by Maryland MVA that all diabetics are required to check their blood glucose each time they are going to get behind the wheel.
I'm type 2 and I would really like to know why the border line of 100?
Also what is the feeling of low blood sugar to determine if I have it?
My neighbor had Type 1 diabetes and took his Jeep off-roading by himself. He went into a diabetic coma at the wheel and died. They didn't find him for a week.
I'm type II and was dxed less than 2 years ago and am struck by your figure of <100 as the cautionary border line. With the new views, and the "normal" level now considered to be less than 100, is 100 really the deciding point?
I am a type 1 diabetic (have been for 20 years) and I can quite easily feel when my blood sugar is low. Having said that, I still test my blood before I get behind the wheel because every once in a while (even once in a blue moon) I can be low and not realize. I don't ever want to put myself, other passengers in my car or other drivers on the road in harms way because I just might have a low blood sugar.
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