https://insidedvla.blog.gov.uk/2016/11/14/driving-with-diabetes-the-facts/

Driving with diabetes: the facts

Given it’s World Diabetes Day today (Monday 14 November) what better time to highlight the potential effects of diabetes mellitus on one aspect of daily life so many people take for granted: driving.

Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a chronic disease linked to high levels of glucose in the blood.  Statistics show that the number of people with diabetes is increasing every year. The effects on living with diabetes day to day are well known, but what’s not so well known is how diabetes can also affect your driving.

How does diabetes affect your driving?

Millions of people with diabetes live full and busy lives.  For many, being able to drive plays an important part in that.  However, if you have diabetes, there is a risk of developing hypoglycaemia and ‘severe hypoglycaemia’ (a diabetic emergency that will affect your fitness to drive).  Hypoglycaemic episodes can be very sudden events, with symptoms ranging from feeling nauseous to a loss of concentration, and potentially loss of consciousness. An episode of ‘severe hypoglycaemia’ means you’ll need assistance from another person. This is why it’s so important that you keep your diabetes under control.

Treating diabetes

Diabetes can be treated with insulin, tablets and/or diet control – it all depends on the individual. The treatment aims to control your blood glucose levels, and attempt to avoid the extremes of hyper and hypoglycaemia.

Do you need to tell DVLA that you have diabetes?

If you’re keeping your diabetes under control with diet only, then you don’t need to tell DVLA. However, if you're taking medication to control your diabetes, the following applies:

dm-table-for-blog

So, to summarise, it’s a legal requirement to tell DVLA if you have a medical condition that could affect your driving. Of course, telling us doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose your licence.  In fact, in the last 2 years, 9 out of 10 car and motorcycle driving licence holders who told us they had diabetes kept their driving licence.

For more information

Ask your GP or healthcare professional or go to https://www.gov.uk/diabetes-driving where you can, depending on your condition, tell DVLA about your diabetes online.

6 comments

  1. Comment by David Turner-Smith posted on

    It would be helpful to define which tablets can cause hypoglycaemic events. So drivers can be sure if they need to inform DVLA

    • Replies to David Turner-Smith>

      Comment by DVLA digital comms team posted on

      Hi David, if you're unsure about which specific medication might affect your risk of hypoglycaemia and so your ability to drive safely, you should seek advice from the doctor or nurse who looks after your diabetes.

  2. Comment by leslie barrett posted on

    'However if you are taking medication to treat your diabetes the following applies'

    THEN A GREAT BIG BLANK SPACE

    PLEASE send out this email again with the blank space filled in

    • Replies to leslie barrett>

      Comment by DVLA digital comms team posted on

      Hi Leslie, the blank space is actually a table with further info - it doesn't look like you can see it. Here's the info:

      Telling us about your diabetes depends on the type of treatment you receive and what driving licence you hold, for example a group 1 (car or motorcycle) or group 2 (lorry or bus). For diabetes treated by:

      - insulin and for group 1 and 2 licences, you must tell DVLA
      - tablets the situation varies for group 1, as some tablets cause hypoglycaemia, there’s more risk so you need to ask your doctor or healthcare professional about your medication
      - tablets for a group 2 licence, you must tell DVLA
      - diet for group 1 or group 2 licences, you don’t need to tell DVLA

  3. Comment by Fred Holdsworth posted on

    Thanks for the info I'm type 2 and take metformin will that effect my liscence.

    • Replies to Fred Holdsworth>

      Comment by DVLA digital comms team posted on

      Hi Fred, if you're unsure about which specific medication might affect your risk of hypoglycaemia and so your ability to drive safely, you should seek advice from the doctor or nurse who looks after your diabetes.