Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Driving

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Driving


We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Driving

Several studies conducted in the United States and some countries of Europe shows several striking results such as the collision rate of individuals (drivers) with type-1 diabetes is twice as that of normal or non diabetic individuals, which shows that there is increased risk of driving collisions in the individuals with Type 1 diabetes. There are several reasons for increased risk (double) of driving collisions for drivers who are suffering from, type 1 diabetes.

The first reason is eye complication (diabetic retinopathy) of patients with diabetes (type 1 diabetes as well as type 2 diabetes), which results in loss of vision (mainly peripheral vision) and/or visual acuity. Due to visual impairment, the driver with type 1 diabetes may not be able to read street signs properly, which may lead to motor accidents such as collisions. If drivers can not read the road signs properly, it may hamper driving, e.g. signs of speed limit, if missed may lead to accident due to over speeding.

The next or second reason is peripheral neuropathy caused by type-1 diabetes. Due to development of peripheral neuropathy, the diabetic individuals may not have normal sensation in their feet, which can impair drivers ability to control speed and also apply appropriate pressure to the brakes during driving and lead to collisions and other accidents.

Hypoglycemia (lower than normal blood sugar level) can have effect on state (level) of consciousness and thinking process, both of which are essential for driving. If there is impairment in thinking process, coordination and consciousness (all of which are vital for driving and avoiding accidents) there may be increased incidence of collisions and other motor accidents.

To avoid collisions and other accidents, individuals with type-1 diabetes the following steps are recommended:

  • Do not drive when blood glucose is below 70 mg/100 ml of blood. If you need to drive, you should first treat hypoglycemia and wait till your blood sugar is above 90 mg/100 ml of blood.
  • If you are type 1 diabetes patient, learn about the causes of hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetics (you).

National Institutes of Health (NIH) have funded some research for safe driving by type 1 diabetics. You can find the internet version which has proved to be beneficial for type 1 diabetics.

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