Apologies if I missed this in the thread somewhere, but has anyone actually posted any data—or have the states that have these laws ever seen any data—that indicates a correlation between insulin dependency and increased accident rates? Here’s one study that indicates it’s the opposite, though not by a huge margin:
RESULTS: The estimated overall annual accident rate for the non-diabetic population was 1469 per 100,000 vs. 856 per 100,000 for the diabetic population as a whole (Chi-squared, P < 0.001). On stratification of the groups by age, within the insulin-treated group there was no significant difference in the accident rate compared to the non-diabetic population, with relative risks between 0.51 [confidence interval (CI) 0.25-1.05] and 1.13 (CI 0.88-1.46).
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that insulin-treated patients as a group do not pose an increased risk to road safety. They reiterate the need for an individualized risk-based assessment when considering driving restrictions.
The thing that really bugs me about this whole topic is not the civil rights aspect but the fact that the statutes appear to be based on fact-free assumptions and “stuff everybody knows” rather than actual, y’know, data. Which doesn’t appear to support them.
ETA: this study was done in England. I’ve seen one from Norway and an older one from Scotland with similar findings. Haven’t found any American ones yet.
ETA 2: This seems like a decent scientific survey of the whole question, from US studies:
Laws that require all people with diabetes (or all people with insulin-treated diabetes) to be medically evaluated as a condition of licensure are ill advised because they combine people with diabetes into one group rather than identifying those drivers who may be at increased risk due to potential difficulties in avoiding hypoglycemia or the presence of complications. In addition, the logistics of registering and evaluating millions of people with diabetes who wish to drive presents an enormous administrative and fiscal burden to licensing agencies. States that require drivers to identify diabetes should limit the identification to reports of diabetes-related problems.