Driving

Getting that first driver's license is a huge milestone for your teen and making sure she stays safe behind the wheel is your number one priority.

Start Driver's Education early with your teen. Establish a diabetes management routine before the big day arrives to get a permit or license. Be sure to talk about rules and responsibilities that come with a driver's license.

Driving Safely with Diabetes

Here are some rules of the road to pass on to your teen:

  • Pass the test. Check your blood glucose (blood sugar) level before getting into the car. Every time. No exceptions.
  • Stop for a diabetes red light. Treat low blood glucose and then recheck in 15 minutes. Do not get behind the wheel until blood glucose is in the target range.
  • Slow down. Treat your blood glucose even if it means being late. It's never okay to drive with a low blood glucose level. Call whoever is waiting for you and explain why you'll be a little late. They'll understand.
  • Always have enough fuel. Stock the car with healthy, non-perishable snacks and fast-acting sugars. And keep your diabetes supplies within easy reach. Remember, insulin and test strips are damaged by hot an cold temperatures. Never leave your diabetes supplies in the car.
  • Pull over. Pull over immediately if you are feeling sick or low while driving. Check your blood glucose, treat yourself, wait 15 minutes and then recheck.
  • ID, please. Don't leave home without a driver's license and medical ID bracelet or necklace. Always wear a medical ID.

Check Before You GO

Get into the routine of reminding your teen to check his blood glucose level before going places.

Riding in a car with a low blood glucose level is dangerous – and driving is even worse, it's similar to driving drunk. So be sure your teen always checks her blood glucose level before getting in the car.

  • Last Reviewed: July 25, 2013
  • Last Edited: October 28, 2013

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast