During Memorial Day Weekend celebrations, friends often gather where alcohol is served and then take to the road. Drinking and driving is hazardous, as we all know, because alcohol affects many skills needed to drive safely and competently, including reaction time, coordination, information processing, and the ability to track moving objects.
If you have diabetes and drive, it adds yet another factor to the equation. If your blood sugar either spikes or drops while you are behind the wheel, you may feel sleepy, dizzy, or confused, develop blurred vision, or even black out. The result could be disastrous for you, your passengers, and others on the road.
To stay sharp and drive well with diabetes, here are some simple tips.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Check your blood glucose before you get into your car. If it’s low, treat it appropriately and check again in fifteen minutes. Don’t get behind the wheel until your glucose level is where it should be. If this means that you may be late, use the phone, not the car. If you explain your situation, everyone will understand and thank you.
- Stock your car with nonperishable, fast-acting sugars. Sip juice or suck hard candy to bring your glucose level back to where it needs to be.
- Before you put your key in the car’s ignition, know where your blood glucose monitor is.
- If you are driving and feel sick, pull over and check your blood glucose level. Treat yourself if that’s what’s needed, wait fifteen minutes, and then check again.
If you have a history of very high blood sugar levels, talk about driving with your doctor or other healthcare providers. Stay safe over Memorial Day weekend and throughout the year.