QUESTION: My teenaged daughter has type 1 and wants to get her learner's license. What does she need to do before she can start driving?
If your diabetes is managed with insulin or medication that causes hypoglycaemia (hypos), you’ll need to check in with your GP before driving. If he or she considers you roadworthy, you’ll be given a medical report that you must submit to your licensing authority. Contact your local branch to see if you need to deliver it in person. You’ll need to undergo periodic medical tests every two to five years to ensure you’re still able to drive. Your GP can advise you how frequently you should be tested.
QUESTION: How can I avoid hypos while driving?
If you’re prone to hypos, check your blood glucose levels before you get in your car. If they’re below 5mmol/L, have a fast-acting carbohydrate then wait until they’ve remained over 5mmol/L for at least half an hour before driving. Keep a stash of fast-acting hypo treatments in your glove box for future emergencies. If you feel yourself going low on the road, pull over, treat it, re-test, and wait until your levels are above 5mmol/L before driving again.
QUESTION: Do I need to tell my insurer that I have diabetes?
In a word: yes. If you don’t report your diabetes to your insurer – regardless of which type – you may have problems making claims in the future.