Type 2 Diabetes – Driving Precautions If You Have Diabetes
Just because a person receives a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes does not mean they need to automatically surrender their driver’s licence. But it does mean the rules for operating a motor vehicle have now changed… at least to a certain degree.
Your doctor will be the person who will instruct you as to whether or not your disease is under control enough to be able to safely… safely is the key word here… drive a car or a motorcycle. After all, there is a big difference in driving and driving safely. Unfortunately, the person with diabetes is not always the best person to make this distinction since they will primarily go off of how they feel… and not how their disease is being managed.
If you are diet-controlled or taking oral diabetic medications, you will need to have a medical review from you doctor and present a letter from him outlining the stability of your Type 2 diabetes to the Licensing Registration Office in your state. Generally people who control their diabetes with diet do not need regular medical examinations to maintain their licence. If you take oral diabetic medications you may need a medical examination every 2 to 5 years.
It is important to notify the Motor Vehicle Registration and Driver’s Licence Registration office in your state to alert them of your diagnosis. It is also important your car insurance company be made aware of your diagnosis as well. It is not only recommended, it is the law. Plus, giving them notification could save you problems if you were to ever become involved in a car accident.
Your driving abilities should not become affected by your Type 2 diabetes diagnosis… as long as you take care of yourself. This means taking your medication as prescribed and not just when you are feeling unwell. If you are starting new medications, even ones not prescribed for diabetes… or increasing an existing medication, it is recommended you do not get into the driver’s seat until you are absolutely sure you will not suffer any adverse effects from the changes expected to take place.
Diabetics already know the importance of not skipping meals or snacks. This is even more important if you drive. Being out on the road without your ideal foods not only puts your blood sugar at risk of dropping way too low, but it also sets you up to make poor food choices out of necessity. The worst-case scenario is if you feel your blood sugar begin to drop and you aren’t around food choices at all… not even bad ones.
If you are planning to drive, then always make sure to take a snack or two along. Also, make sure you have a sugary treat or even glucose pills handy… just in case. And always carry extra supplies with you. You never know when you are going to be unexpectedly detained. Being prepared beats being sorry.