Diabetic Driver Education

Do our educators and medical professionals advise us to test our sugars before we get behind the wheel?

I have been diabetic for thirty eight years and have never heard one person warn or advise me to test prior to driving. I found out on my own.

Thirteen years ago, I had a terrible accident that involved a hypoglycemic reaction. I blacked out behind the wheel with my nine month old daughter in the back seat. I hit three vehicles at a stop light and totaled my car.

My daughter and I were released from the emergency room without injuries. Everyone else was treated and released but it happened because of me. I was fortunate that no one was seriously injured or killed. That day comes back to my memory every time I hear of an accident involving a diabetic.

This memory has has been revisited three times this year. Three times too many. Maybe there have been more.

I will never forget the state officer that came to my accident scene. He threatened to have my license taken away from me and told me that I had no business being behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. He scared me because I never knew something like this could happen to me, and maybe he was right.

It’s been thirteen years now and that officer was wrong. He did try to have my license yanked but I worked with my doctor and reported that I would begin to take the extra step in testing before driving and logging it. It’s been thirteen years and I still test before I drive. At least, I know where I’m at and what I have to do if it’s below a certain number.

We are so busy nowadays, we need to be alert to our responsibility as drivers with diabetes. With this in mind, maybe we can prevent an accident or tragedy. Maybe, we can bring this topic up with our CDE’s and physicians, and they too can relay the message to others. There are still too many of us that do not realize this can happen to us.

Please check your sugars before you drive. Talk to your Certified Diabetes Educators and your doctors.

Excellent advice there!

Thanks, Barbara.

Perhaps with the increasing number of us in the general population, a couple of lines, or minutes of class time, should be presented on this topic to all potential drivers (or at the very least, as part of High School Driver’s Ed).