Diabetes and Driving

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving. You may be prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident as a result.

You must tell DVLA if your diabetes is treated with insulin.

If you hold a Group 2 licence and take non-insulin medication which may cause a hypo you should check your levels at least twice per day at times relevant to driving. The results should be recorded on the meter memory.

Tablets which are deemed to carry a risk of hypoglycemia are sulfonylureas and prandial glucose regulators. Unless you have other complications or reasons that may affect your ability to drive.

For information on the current DVLA guidelines, please visit the official DVLA and Direct.gov.uk websites.

The DVLA advise that if blood glucose is 5mmol/l or less you should take carbohydrate before driving. If it is less than 4mmol/l do not drive. See advice below on hypo advice for drivers.

Safe driving tips

  • Avoid delaying or missing meals and snacks
  • Take breaks on long journeys
  • Always keep hypo treatments to hand in the car
  • Do not drink alcohol and drive.

Many of the accidents caused by hypoglycaemia are because drivers have continued to drive, ignoring their hypo warning signs (eg hunger, sweating, feeling faint). If you have a hypo whilst driving:

  • Stop the vehicle as soon as possible
  • Switch off the engine, remove the keys from the ignition and move from the driver’s seat
  • Take some fast-acting carbohydrate, such as glucose tablets or sweets, and some form of longer-acting carbohydrate.
  • Do not start driving until 45 minutes after blood glucose has returned normal.

If you have poor warning signs, or have frequent hypos, you should probably not be driving because of the risk to yourself and others. Discuss this with your diabetes healthcare team. If your team advise you to notify the DVLA/DVA you must do so. If you fail to do this, your doctor has an obligation to do so on your behalf.

You do not need to tell the DVLA if you are treated by:

  • Diet alone
  • By tablets which carry no risk of hypoglycemia

Non-insulin injectable medication such as Byetta or Victoza (unless you are also on tablets which do carry a risk of hypos)