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Perspectives

The driver with diabetes: a guide to assessment and reporting

Victoria Stevenson, STEPHEN M. TWIGG

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Abstract

The driver with diabetes, their healthcare professionals and the relevant driving licensing authority each have roles and responsibilities in helping to minimise health-related road crashes, serious injuries, and emotional and economic costs. This article explores fitness to drive in people with diabetes in light of contemporary national guidelines and requirements.

Key Points

  • The main health-related driving concern in people with diabetes treated with glucose-lowering medications is the occurrence of a severe hypoglycaemic event while driving, potentiating a crash risk.
  • Impaired vision, neuropathy, sleep disorders and cardiovascular disease are significant diabetes complications and related comorbidities that require assessment as they may also affect fitness to drive.
  • The Assessing Fitness to Drive publication provides helpful advice to healthcare professionals, including mandatory requirements in the assessment process.
  • To help minimise the occurrence of hypoglycaemia while driving, a person taking glucose-lowering medications should ensure their blood glucose level is above 5.0 mmol/L before driving.
  • Occurrence of a severe hypoglycaemic event in a person with diabetes requires cessation of driving, and a nondriving period with a comprehensive reassessment by the relevant medical healthcare team.

    Picture credit: © Tyler Olson/adobe.com
    Model used for illustrative purposes only.

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