The crazy season is upon us and road accidents increase. Do you know if your drivers have diabetes? Do you understand the risks associated with driving with diabetes? This special feature will give you useful insight to the condition. Use it as a training session for all your drivers this season.
If you've got diabetes, you need to be aware of the risks involved when you're driving. If you know the risks, you can take steps to manage them.
If your diabetes has just been diagnosed and your treatment is still being adjusted, you may not be fit to drive just yet. Check with your doctor.
Low blood sugar levels are dangerous for drivers with diabetes. If you're taking insulin or tablets for diabetes (except Metformin), it's very important that you avoid low blood sugar levels, which can dangerously impair your driving.
Very high blood sugar levels could leave you feeling unwell or tired, and may affect your ability to drive safely. You should not drive if you're severely hyperglycaemic.
People with Type 1 diabetes are not normally allowed to drive taxis, heavy trade vehicles or passenger service vehicles. If you are in this group and you want to drive one of these vehicles, ask a diabetes specialist to write to the MEC on your behalf. The letter should be addressed to the Chief Medical Advisor, who will look into the circumstances and see if an exception is possible. Strict conditions would apply.
If your diabetes is well controlled, you can drive a private car safely. However, there are times when you need to take precautions.
In some situations, you may need to refrain from driving. If you have a mild hypoglycaemic episode, we recommend that you don't drive for at least an hour, to give your brain time to recover.
If you have a severe hypoglycaemic episode (e.g. when you need someone else's help to deal with it), you shouldn't drive for 24 hours. If you have several hypoglycaemic episodes, you should talk to your doctor before you return to driving.
If you have a severe hypoglycaemic episode while you're driving, you shouldn't drive for at least a month — whether you're involved in a crash or not. It's likely you'll need to see a specialist before you can safely return to driving, and you'll need to talk to your doctor.
Your driving ability could be affected by long-term complications of diabetes, such as eyesight deterioration and the loss of normal sensation in your feet. Check with your doctor.
Sometimes a driver with diabetes may be permitted to continue driving with certain conditions attached. The conditions will depend on:
The medical doctor decides the conditions for you to drive, having regard to the medical fitness to drive. Should the doctor not wish you to drive he may inform the MEC to have the licence temporarily suspended until your health improves or your diabetes is stabilised.
Insulin and tablets for the control of diabetes are classified as drugs under the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996, Chapter IV. You may be prosecuted under this Act if you misuse or abuse diabetes medications and your driving results in crashes or injuries.
Why not contact one of our market hub advertisers to conduct a wellness day this month to monitor your drivers? They can do on site diabetes screening and assist you as an employer to better manage this risk.
Make use of our Diabetes Toolobox Talk to share with your employees