Driving safely is more than just watching where you are going; it’s also watching where your blood sugar is going. People taking insulin are at risk for low blood sugar reactions. Even mild hypoglycemia (60-70 mg/dl) may be enough to interfere with your judgement and driving.
Create a Driving Contract for Your Teen with Diabetes
Driving Contract Points
- Agree to test blood glucose at least 4 times a day before meals and bedtime. Agree to contact the office for insulin adjustments if you are having patterns of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Come to your diabetes appointments as recommended by your endocrinologist.
- Before getting behind the wheel, check your blood sugar. If it is less than 100, take some carbohydrate. Don’t start the car until your blood sugar is at least 100. Check your blood glucose every hour while on the road.
- Keep your meter and glucose tablets with you at all times, and always have glucose tablets available in the car. If you feel low while driving, you must pull over and treat yourself until you are over 100. Carbohydrate sources must be easily accessible.
- If you will be on the road for a while (vacations, etc), think ahead and have food available in case you get stuck in traffic or don’t have access to food on the road.
- Wear a medical alert bracelet or neck charm. If you become hypoglycemic despite your precautions, erratic driving may cause an accident or bring you to the attention of the police. Without identification, an officer or medical personnel may assume you are drunk or on drugs. A wallet card may not be found until it’s too late.
- You agree that we reserve the right to hold off on filling out DMV paperwork if we feel you have not demonstrated responsible diabetes self-management. We are also required to report you to the DMV if you do not follow through on the safety guidelines recommended to you and we feel you are not a safe driver
No one advocates taking away the licenses of people with diabetes, but driving is a responsibility and a privilege, not a right.