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Check you're safe to drive

When you are driving:

  • always carry your blood glucose meter and strips with you
  • carry ID 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 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.

If your blood glucose is 5 millimoles per litre (mmol/l) or less, have a snack.

If it is less than 4mmol/l or you feel hypoglycaemic (low blood glucose), do not drive.

Legal requirements for driving with type 1 diabetes

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

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 it is low, treat your hypo.
  5. Do not drive for 45 minutes after you start to feel better.

Insurance, driving license and type 1 diabetes

You need to let your insurance company and the National Driving License Service (NDLS) know you have type 1 diabetes.

Download the NDLS booklet 'Diabetes and driving' (PDF, 12 pages 1 MB) -

Informing the NDLS about a medical condition -

Page last reviewed: 17 October 2023
Next review due: 17 October 2026

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 9.