Type 2 Diabetes – Diabetes and Driving

Generally, people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes can do whatever work they want. Their ability to drive certainly gives personal freedom and allows them to get to their job, drive their children to school, and get to the shopping center. Usually those diabetics treated with diet and tablets have no risk of hypoglycemia and don’t have any restrictions on their employment or driving. Sulphonylureas carry a risk of causing low blood sugar, but this is more likely in frail elderly people. Once people start insulin therapy, there are restrictions, especially regarding licenses to drive large goods and public service vehicles.

One of the most common ways a diabetic’s life can change is in their ability to drive. If Type 2 diabetes, or the control of your blood sugar and body weight, is allowed to run out of control then you risk losing the opportunity to drive.

Since driving is a freedom, you should do everything you can to ensure you continue to be able to do so. Driving requires a great deal of continuous attention and a complex interaction of physical and mental capabilities. Does your Type 2 diabetes interfere with these abilities?

Trying to drive when your blood sugar is not being managed is not only difficult, but it is extremely dangerous for you and anyone else who is also on the road. Always test your blood sugar before driving and never drive if your reading is under 90 mg/dL (5 mmol/L).

Variations in your blood sugar affects your ability to drive in many ways:

First, is how it affects your response time. Uncontrolled diabetes can make your thinking feel foggy and unclear. Your judgment can be significantly impaired and your ability to react at a moment’s notice could be in jeopardy.

Second, is how it can affect your memory. Low blood sugar causes you to feel confused and then you may have difficulty in recalling where you are going, and some people have been known to actually forget certain aspects of how to drive.

Third, is the way it affects how alert you are. If your blood sugar is not stable you could easily begin to have a hypoglycemic episode. This will bring on a myriad of symptoms from dizziness, to suddenly feeling overly tired, and even losing consciousness.

Fourth, is how diabetes can affect your vision. One of the first signs of Type 2 diabetes is blurred vision. Often, the individual will chalk up their loss of clear sight to age and ignore the true cause.

Last, is how your driving can be hindered by neuropathy. Having nerve damage of your legs and feet could severely hinder your response time and your overall ability to operate an automobile.