On the Road with Diabetes

November 9, 2015 4:18 pm

cruising-1430324-mThere are so many safety precautions that drivers must adhere to these days – and most of them are for good measure! Today’s road hurdles include other drivers who may be putting on make-up, eating a hamburger, chatting on the phone while driving and more serious threats of drivers who drive and text and drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. For people with Diabetes, many must take the extra precaution to measure their blood glucose level prior to getting behind the wheel.

It is essential to make sure that you blood levels are in good range before getting behind the wheel, especially in cases for insulin dependent Diabetes, to make sure that you don’t have a hyper or hypo event while driving. If your blood sugar levels dip too low you might drive erratically, weaving in and out of lanes or even fainting at the wheel.  If your levels shoot up your vision may be compromised.

In the UK and many other countries, you are legally required to check your BG level and know the number before getting in the car to drive.  If you are involved in a traffic incident, you may be asked to provide your latest BG reading and, if you don’t then your license may be revoked. People with Diabetes need to inform their insurance companies if they are treated with insulin.  If their diabetes is not well controlled or if they suffer from other diabetes complications like impaired vision they may not be able to renew their licenses. If they fail to inform the insurance companies they can have their insurance revoked. Commercial drivers have specific rules and must refer to a local licensing bureau.

For those newly diagnosed with diabetes, immediate concerns center around regulating insulin dosage/sugar levels, getting used to pricking a finger up to six times a day and developing a new diet. However, it’s crucial to be aware and alert to the problems a diabetic might encounter while driving, especially long distances.

Preventing these issues and managing your Diabetes with Dario are keys to safe driving.  Before driving, especially on a long trip, make sure you have eaten and are properly hydrated.  Follow these tips which can be found on the Joslin Diabetes Center website www.joslin.org.

  1. Check your blood so that you have a baseline sugar number.
  2. Don’t drive for more than two hours before taking a break and eating and drinking as needed.
  3. Always carry glucose tablets, water, and doctor-recommended snacks with you.
  4. If you feel that you are about to faint or your driving is impaired in any way pull over to check your levels. If you need to take glucose tabs or insulin, wait for them to take affect and test again to to ascertain if it is safe for you to drive.
  5. Break up trips of more than eight hours into two days unless there is another driver.
  6. Don’t leave your monitor in the car during extreme heat or cold and wear a medical ID bracelet which states you have diabetes.

While rushing from one task to another and with all the pressures of balancing home concerns and work priorities, it can be difficult to take the time to monitor insulin levels and your sugar numbers. That’s why Dario is the most important tool you can find in managing diabetes.

The Dario device tracks your BG reading for you, so there is no need to fumble for a paper and pen. It safely uploads your information to a cloud platform so that a caregiver in another location can check your records and advise you on adjusting insulin levels if necessary.  Please see www.mydario.com  for more information.

Every driver must always be alert while driving.  Drivers with diabetes need to take extra precautions, but with Dario at your side you can feel confident that you are taking the necessary steps to have the knowledge that your blood sugar numbers are  safe for driving.  Dario can keep you on the road to diabetes management success.

Happy trails!