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Check you're safe to drive

If you get the warning symptoms of a hypo whilst driving, you must always stop as soon as it is safe to do so. Do not ignore the warning symptoms.

When you are driving you should:

  • always carry your blood glucose meter and strips with you
  • carry personal identification to show you have diabetes in case of an accident
  • never drink and drive
  • make sure your blood glucose meter displays the correct time and date so you have a record

If your blood glucose is 5.0 mmol/l or less, have a snack. If it is less than 4.0 mmol/l or you feel hypoglycaemic (low blood glucose), do not drive.

Legal requirements

Legally, if you have diabetes and you drive you need to:

  • check your blood glucose is above 5mmol/L before driving
  • check your blood glucose every 2 hours if you're on a long journey
  • carry a glucose meter, hypo treatment and carbohydrate snacks like a cereal bar or banana when driving

Read more about how to check your blood glucose levels.

If you feel your levels are low

  1. Stop the car when it's safe
  2. Remove the keys from the ignition
  3. Get out of the driver's seat
  4. Check your blood glucose and if low, treat your hypo
  5. Do not drive for 45 minutes after you start to feel better

Insurance, driving licence and Type 1 diabetes

You need to let your insurance company and the National Driving Licence Service (NDLS) know you have Type 1 diabetes. This will not stop you driving, they just need to know you're on insulin.

There is more information in the NDLS booklet Diabetes and driving (PDF, 8 pages 584KB)

page last reviewed: 27/11/2020
next review due: 27/11/2023

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