Driving and type 1 diabetes
This week we share an article from the wonderful JDRF foundation. Managing t1 diabetes and getting and renewing your license means jumping through a few more hoops than others. Here is some information that may be helpful:
Just as wearing a seatbelt and driving within the speed limit are the law, there are laws about driving with T1D. Yes, you absolutely can get a driver’s licence if you have T1D. Keep in mind though, there are rules and restrictions in place and these rules need to be adhered to. With T1D, there is a risk that concentration and action could be impaired. As any driver will know, a moment’s inattention can have devastating outcomes.
The main concern of the licensing authorities is the possibility of a person with T1D having hypoglycaemia (a hypo) while driving. T1D complications like eye problems are also a concern. All states and territories use the national guidelines of medical fitness to assess people with T1D who wish to begin or continue driving. These guidelines are intended to protect your safety and the safety of the community. They attempt to balance the safety of all and any unfairness against you.
If you have been diagnosed with T1D, you should immediately inform your local licensing authority. If you don’t do this and continue to drive and have an accident, you could be charged with driving offences. There may also be problems with insurance claims if you haven’t reported your T1D. Once you have notified your licensing authority they will forward you a report form for your doctor to complete to say you are fit to drive. A medical review must be completed at least every two years and annually if you hold a commercial driver’s licence. Planning ahead for your medical review is important, such as having an eye check beforehand, and taking along other results including records of your recent home blood glucose results.