Safe Driving Instructions for Diabetes Mellitus Patients

In recent years, with the rapid increase in the number of private cars, the problem of safe driving for diabetics has become a problem that has to be faced and needs great attention.

Foreign research shows that about 1/3 of traffic accidents occur in drivers with diabetes. Therefore, some countries stipulate that diabetics who receive insulin or sulfonylurea drugs are not allowed to drive or work high above the ground. Drivers with diabetes also need regular physical examination to ensure the safety of driving.

Can’t you drive well with diabetes? Today we will talk about this problem.

What circumstances may affect safe driving?

1. Hypoglycemia

When hypoglycemia occurs, you will feel drowsy or dizzy, unconscious, blurred vision, loss of consciousness or syncope. When the degree is relatively mild, you may also feel a little inattention and irritability.

All these conditions will affect the reaction. Make hands and feet clumsy and interfere with normal driving.

2. Chronic complications of diabetes

(1) Eyes

The more common are diabetic retinopathy, diabetic-related cataract and vision loss caused by laser surgery for retinopathy.

Patients may not be able to see clearly or cannot see objects from a certain direction at all, thus causing accidents.

(2) Peripheral nerve and vascular lesions

At ordinary times, if you feel numbness and pain in your hands and feet, it is like wearing socks or gloves on your hands and feet. At this time, you should be careful of insensitivity or abnormal sensation.

All these will affect the operation of hand steering wheel, foot brake or accelerator, resulting in accidents.

(3) Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular lesions

Diabetes can harden, slow down or even block blood flow, leading to coronary heart disease, stroke accidents, etc. Patients may suffer from chest tightness, chest pain, dyspnea, dizziness, inability to move hands and feet, etc. In severe cases, coma or death may occur.

If these situations occur during driving, of course, it is very dangerous.

(4) Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

This is very common in patients with type 2 diabetes, especially obese people. If you snore obviously at night, you will be awakened during sleep. Or when you sleep for a long time at night, you are still sleepy and dizzy during the day. In this way, you often still want to sleep during the day, lose your concentration, and are prone to accidents while driving.

Step 3: Drinking

Everyone knows that you can’t drink and drive, because alcohol can cause confusion of thinking, and in serious cases it can cause coma or death due to alcoholism.

There is also a special reminder that drinking can also induce or lead to hypoglycemia, thus affecting safe driving.

How to prevent possible dangerous situations?

Like ordinary people, strictly abiding by traffic rules, avoiding fatigue driving and drunk driving, and regularly carrying out car maintenance and maintenance can all avoid traffic accidents as much as possible.

Diabetic patients may have more hidden dangers than ordinary people when driving because of the above situation, but as long as enough attention is paid, regular review and regular treatment are carried out, and blood sugar is controlled within the normal range, driving can be safe as well.

1. Try to avoid hypoglycemia, especially severe hypoglycemia

It is no exaggeration to say that almost every diabetic patient may have experienced different degrees of hypoglycemia during treatment. However, this does not mean that one cannot drive as long as hypoglycemia occurs.

(1) Fully evaluate the degree of hypoglycemia

In the early stage of hypoglycemia, it is only manifested as fatigue, dizziness, hunger and other symptoms. As long as food is supplemented in time at this time, the symptoms can be relieved quickly and generally will not cause serious effects. However, some serious hypoglycemia may cause coma, which will lead to major accidents.

There is also a case where the patient will not feel it due to repeated hypoglycemia, resulting in [no perceived hypoglycemia], so there is no way to detect the symptoms of hypoglycemia at an early stage, and timely energy supplement may directly enter a severe hypoglycemia coma without feeling it.

(2) Learn how to deal with hypoglycemia

Usually: eat!

You should always have some sweet foods on the bus, such as candy, cookies, cakes and fruit juice drinks. These foods may not be eaten by you normally, but when hypoglycemia occurs, eating these foods can quickly raise blood sugar and relieve symptoms.

However, if severe hypoglycemia coma has occurred, the patient cannot be fed any more! It is necessary to contact an ambulance as soon as possible for rescue by glucose infusion.

(3) If it stabilizes, it should look for the possible causes of hypoglycemia.

    Have you recently changed the treatment plan? Such as increasing the dose of hypoglycemic drugs, or just starting to use insulin? Did you eat in time after taking medicine or insulin, and did you eat significantly less? Is the amount of activity more than usual? Is the body suffering from other diseases? For example, colds and fevers may affect appetite and lead to eating less…

All these may lead to hypoglycemia. If the cause can be found and avoided as much as possible, hypoglycemia can be avoided to the greatest extent.

(4) Specific countermeasures

1) The vehicle is equipped with a blood glucose meter, test paper and food that can quickly raise blood glucose;

2) Measure blood sugar before driving. If the blood sugar is lower than 3.9 mmol/L, you should eat something. If the blood sugar is between 3.9 mmol/L and 5 mmol/L, it is better to supplement some energy before driving.

3) when hypoglycemia or suspicious hypoglycemia symptom occur, pull over in time, immediately measure blood sugar and eat;

4) recheck blood sugar after symptoms improve, and continue driving after blood sugar and consciousness are completely restored;

5) For people who have repeated hypoglycemia or have [no perceived hypoglycemia] and have to drive, they can have a rest after driving for half an hour to one hour, and can supplement additional food when necessary. Increase the number of blood sugar tests to find hypoglycemia in time.

If hypoglycemia often occurs, be sure to tell your doctor in charge and adjust the blood sugar control target in time.

2. Regular screening of diabetic complications and active treatment

Early detection of possible diabetic complications is very important. By controlling blood sugar, improving microcirculation, nutrient nerve, laser or interventional therapy, the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy and neurovascular diseases can be improved to a certain extent, so that you can be safer when driving.

Similarly, there are already problems such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, which need to be treated in time to the hospital, use relevant drugs, and cooperate with doctors to control blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipid. However, if there are serious complications or the condition is very unstable, in order to ensure safety, don’t drive first.

For diabetics with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, mild diabetes can be improved by controlling body weight, quitting smoking and drinking, avoiding overwork during the day, and trying to sleep sideways at night. Severe cases also need further otolaryngology and respiratory treatment.

Step 3: Prohibition of alcohol

Even if you don’t drive, you need to limit drinking, and drunk driving is absolutely not possible. For diabetics, what needs to be more vigilant is that alcohol-induced hypoglycemic coma, which may make people mistake it for drunkenness and delay treatment to cause life danger.


For most people, it is free and convenient to drive wherever you want. Driving is not only a job or an ability, but also a pleasure in many cases. Master the right method and believe that you can drive safely. Don’t let diabetes deprive you of the pleasure of driving.