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Diabetes: Driving Precautions

If you have diabetes and low blood sugar and you drive, your ability to steer the car may be affected. You also could behave aggressively or appear to be drunk if your blood sugar gets very low.

There is no reason why people with diabetes should not be allowed to drive. But you should take the following precautions:

  • Wear medical identification camera.gif at all times. In an emergency, medical identification will let people know how to care for you. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to get medical identification.
  • Carry some quick-sugar foods with you at all times. These include raisins, hard candy, or fruit juice. Keep some in your car in case you have low blood sugar while driving and need to stop and eat something.
  • Plan your trips so that you will not miss or delay a meal, if possible. If a trip will delay a meal, eat a snack before leaving.
  • Always have your home blood sugar meter with you, and check your blood sugar level if you think it may be low. If you have low blood sugar often or you do not get the usual symptoms of it, test your blood sugar before you drive. Consider having someone else drive.
  • If your blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL before you drive, do not drive until you have eaten something to raise it. Before driving, check to make sure it has risen to your target range.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last RevisedJuly 19, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 19, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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