Driving with Diabetes: A Contract for Safety
Diabetes treated with certain medications can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and you are using one or more of those medications. We teach all patients who could develop hypoglycemia about safe driving. However, for one of several possible reasons – perhaps because of problems you have had in the past or because of the type of vehicle you want to drive – we are particularly concerned about you driving a motor vehicle safely.
You should therefore check your blood sugar before driving and then every _______ minutes while driving. In addition, keep a written log of your blood sugars, as well as any other information about your condition at the time of driving. If you don’t, you will not be able to prove that you were driving safely. We have agreed that the goal range for your blood sugars is _____-_____ mg/dl. You should not drive if your blood sugar is below your goal range; rather you should follow the directions outlined in the Hypoglycemia Treatment Protocol to treat your low blood sugar. You may resume driving only when your blood sugar has been appropriately treated and is above the lower number of your goal range.
Remember that this is a “Catch 22” situation. If you could judge that you are still OK to drive, then you could drive; but you actually lose that ability to judge hypoglycemia, so you must go by the number and not by how you feel. Research has shown that even people who do recognize hypoglycemia and judge themselves still able to drive actually do not do as well driving when the blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dl. And remember that the same rules should apply to other potentially dangerous situations, whether it be climbing a ladder or rock climbing. You must promise to follow these rules for driving. If you do not then we will be obligated by Pennsylvania law to report you to the D.O.T. and you may lose your license.
Another thing to remember is that a recent low blood sugar makes another low blood sugar more likely and the symptoms more difficult to recognize. And exercise does the same. Increase your blood sugar goal range by 40 mg/dl for 48 hours after a severe low blood sugar or after vigorous exercise.
I,________________________________, have read the above regarding testing blood sugar to drive safely. I understand these points and agree to follow the recommendations. Specifically I agree to test my blood sugar before driving and to stop to test every _____ minutes while driving. I agree not to drive if my blood sugar is below my goal range.
_____ Copy given to patient
_____ Copy of hypoglycemia treatment protocol provided to patient