Driving is a complex skill, both physically and mentally. If you have diabetes, you may need to take extra precautions to make sure you are safe on the road.
Hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose)
If you take insulin or some types of diabetes tablets (not metformin), the main risk to your safety is hypoglycaemia (a ‘hypo’), where your blood glucose levels drop too low. This is usually below 4mmol/L but symptoms can occur in some people at blood glucose levels a little above this.
Even mild hypoglycaemia can affect your ability to drive safely. If you don't do anything about it, hypoglycaemia can cause you to pass out (become unconscious).
Hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose)
Very high blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia) can also make you feel unwell or tired and may affect your ability to drive safely. You should not drive if you’re severely hyperglycaemic.
Other concerns that can affect your ability to drive safely are the possible complications of diabetes, such as eye problems, loss of sensation in your feet and heart problems.
If your diabetes has just been diagnosed and your treatment is still being adjusted, you may not be fit to drive just yet. Check with your healthcare provider, eg, your doctor (GP), a registered nurse or nurse practitioner, or a specialist if appropriate.