A new report from TRL – “The forgotten risk of driving with Hypoglycaemia in Type 2 diabetes” and commissioned by MSD - has highlighted the fact that more needs to be done to inform drivers with this form of the disease to seek support from the medical profession, employers and peers so that they can best manage their condition and remain healthy and on the road.
Hypoglycaemia, commonly known as a “hypo” occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels become too low, with the result that a person can feel shaky; sweating; tired; suffers blurred vision and in severe cases can lose consciousness. Even in less severe cases drivers become inattentive, lack situation awareness and the judgement of whether to continue driving or stop and self-treat. It is therefore a significant risk factor for people with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) particularly when it comes to safe driving and those who drive regularly for work.
The report suggests that more support and advice needs to be given to people to ensure that they are able to reduce the risk and argues that health care professionals and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are best placed to do more to help make drivers aware of how best to manage their condition.
Professor Andrew Parkes, Chief Scientist and Research Director at TRL said: “Health care professionals could do more to help drivers with diabetes understand their risks and responsibilities when driving. We know that drivers with diabetes are not sufficiently aware of the need to speak to their doctor to check that their diabetes medication is suitable for someone who drives. It is a problem of treatment regimes, rather than the diabetes itself, that leads to hypos and accident risk.”
The report which was launched yesterday at a Parliamentary briefing, makes a number of recommendations:
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