Diabetes and Driving: Don't Get Caught in the Dark
As most people with diabetes know, low blood sugar and driving don't mix. It's a form of dangerous driving that can have tragic consequences. Simply put: Getting behind the wheel without checking your blood sugar is asking for trouble. If you pass out from hypoglycemia while driving you endanger your life and the lives of other drivers. And, depending on the laws in your state, you risk losing your driver's license. Why play Russian Roulette?
Before you start the engine, be responsible and check your blood sugar. Headaches, dizziness, tremors, sweating, anxiety and confusion can be signs of a drop in blood sugar. It's not a bad idea to keep snacks in your car —a container of fruit juice or crackers and a jar or peanut butter, for example.
Something else to be mindful of...take note of where you park your car and consider what that spot will be like later when it comes time to check your blood sugar. Consider if the area surrounding your car will be more desolate than when you arrived. If you're alone and returning to the vehicle late at night, think about your safety. Is the area well lit? Is there a parking attendant on duty? It's not smart to be alone in a car—especially if you are female—and defenseless as you perform a blood sugar check. Try to park near the entrance to the lot if possible and remove valuables so as not to tempt the bad guys. If you'll be leaving your car in a large parking lot, consider taking a photo of the slot number so you can find it easily later.
Finally, trust your gut. If you get a bad feeling, find a safer place to conduct a blood sugar test -- a public restroom, for example or the back of a large coat room. If you don't feel comfortable walking out to your car alone, do what you can to find a trustworthy escort or call the police.
I don't mean to scare you but it makes sense to pay attention to your surroundings and be careful at night. I have honestly never heard of crimes committed in cars involving people with diabetes in the midst of checking their blood sugar, but that doesn't mean a simple reminder isn't warranted.
I’m a dad. I can't help myself.
So check your area, know your blood glucose number and don't let down your guard!
I am a DiabetesDad.