The driver with diabetes: a guide to assessment and reporting

Victoria Stevenson, STEPHEN M. TWIGG



The driver with diabetes, their healthcare professionals and the relevant driving licensing authority each have roles and responsibilities in helping to minimise health-related road crashes, serious injuries, and emotional and economic costs. This article explores fitness to drive in people with diabetes in light of contemporary national guidelines and requirements.

Key Points

  • The main health-related driving concern in people with diabetes treated with glucose-lowering medications is the occurrence of a severe hypoglycaemic event while driving, potentiating a crash risk.
  • Impaired vision, neuropathy, sleep disorders and cardiovascular disease are significant diabetes complications and related comorbidities that require assessment as they may also affect fitness to drive.
  • The Assessing Fitness to Drive publication provides helpful advice to healthcare professionals, including mandatory requirements in the assessment process.
  • To help minimise the occurrence of hypoglycaemia while driving, a person taking glucose-lowering medications should ensure their blood glucose level is above 5.0 mmol/L before driving.
  • Occurrence of a severe hypoglycaemic event in a person with diabetes requires cessation of driving, and a nondriving period with a comprehensive reassessment by the relevant medical healthcare team.

    Picture credit: © Tyler Olson/
    Model used for illustrative purposes only.