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Driving With Diabetes

Content provided by: Better Medicine from Healthgrades

Managing diabetes means developing a routine for things like meals, exercise, and taking medication. It also means making changes in some of your activities, such as driving, to help keep you and those around you safe.

Driving Safety

On long car trips, keep your diabetes supplies in easy reach, not in the trunk. Stop every 2  hours to take a short walk. This helps prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. If you take diabetes medication or insulin, be aware that driving when your blood sugar is low can be as dangerous as driving while drunk. To drive safely:

  • Before starting out, check your blood sugar. Don’t drive if it is below your target range.

  • Keep fast-acting sugar within reach.

  • Stop to check your blood sugar at least every 2  hours.

  • If you feel symptoms of low blood sugar while driving, pull over and check your blood sugar right away.

  • Treat your low blood sugar. Wait 10–15 minutes. Then test to see whether your blood sugar is still low.

Be Prepared

Natural disasters, accidents, and even traffic jams can disrupt your normal routine.

  • Keep a diabetes kit. It should include your blood glucose meter, batteries, test strips, lancing device, fast-acting sugar, extra medication, syringes if needed, and copies of prescriptions. Use a case designed to carry diabetes supplies. Or use a makeup case, a belt pouch, or your briefcase.

  • Take your diabetes kit with you everywhere, just like you take your wallet and keys.

  • Wear a bracelet or necklace that says you have diabetes.

Medical Reviewer: Chambers, Jeanette K, PhD, RN, CS; DeLeuw, Bonnie, RN, BSN, CDE Last Annual Review Date: 2012-04-12 Copyright: © 2000-2012 The StayWell Company, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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