Living with diabetes blog

Driving safety tips for those with diabetes

By Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E. April 14, 2015

The other night as we were driving back from the airport, my son was testing his blood sugar while driving. Being the back seat driver that I sometimes am, I said "You know, that is up there with texting while driving."

I generally don't give out unsolicited advice, but testing your blood glucose while driving is a safety issue.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012 driver distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all fatal crashes — with 3,328 people killed — and crashes resulting in an injury — with 421,000 people hurt.

Eleven percent of drivers aged 18-20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.

Just as with texting, if you're testing your blood sugar while driving you're distracted and your eyes aren't on the road.

Some safety reminders:

  • Check your blood sugar before you get in the driver's seat. Don't drive until your blood sugar is in your target range.
  • If you're driving and need to test your blood glucose, pull off at the nearest exit and test. If you feel like your blood glucose is low, pull off the road, check it and treat as necessary. Wait 15 minutes. Make sure that your blood glucose is back in your blood glucose goal range before driving.
  • Have hypoglycemia treatment nearby at all times. Carry plenty of a quick-acting source of glucose with you such as glucose tablets, soda (not diet), fruit snacks, crackers, etc.
  • Never leave diabetes supplies in the car.
  • Always wear a diabetes medical I.D.

Drive safely and have a good week.

April 14, 2015