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Driving

You can drive if you have type 2 diabetes. But there are precautions you should take before driving.

Car insurance

If you apply for car insurance you must tell the insurance company that you have type 2 diabetes. Most car insurance companies will not charge you more if you have diabetes. If you think you are being discriminated against, complain to the insurance company.

Telling the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS)

You need to tell the NDLS if you have type 2 diabetes and you are taking insulin or medicines which may cause hypoglycaemia (hypo). This is where you have low blood glucose levels.

You do not need to tell the NDLS if your diabetes is managed by diet alone or with medicine which does not carry a risk of a hypo.

Find out more about hypos

Driving advice if taking insulin or diabetes medicines

It is very important you know how to:

  • prepare yourself for any journey
  • make sure you are safe to drive

Carry

Always carry your glucose meter and blood glucose strips with you. Check your blood glucose before driving and every 2 hours while driving.

Always carry personal identification to show that you have diabetes in case of injury in a road traffic accident.

Measure

Blood glucose is measured in millimoles per litre and is written as mmol/l.

If your blood glucose is 5.0 mmol/l or less, have a carbohydrate snack.

If it is less than 4.0 mmol/l or you feel hypoglycaemic, do not drive. Take suitable action and then test yourself again to make sure your blood glucose is above 5.1 mmol/l.

Stop

If you develop hypoglycaemia while driving, stop your vehicle as soon as possible.

Wait

Switch off the engine, take the keys out of the ignition, and move from the driver’s seat.

Do not drive again until 45 minutes after your blood glucose level has returned to normal. It takes up to 45 minutes for the brain to recover fully.

Keep

Keep an emergency supply of fast-acting carbohydrates (for example, glucose tablets or sweets) within easy reach in your vehicle.

Take

Always take regular meals, snacks and rest periods at least every 2 hours on long journeys.

Avoid

Always avoid alcohol.

Important

Make sure that your glucose meter displays the correct time and date so that you have a record of the reading.

Page last reviewed: 1 August 2020
Next review due: 1 August 2023

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