Teen Topic 45:  For those of you of driving age: What types of rules do you have to follow for driving? Do you have a contract with your parents? What do you think your personal responsibility should be for driving with D? Are you aware of the potential risks?

Claire (age 17)
My parents and I do have a contract, and it requires me to do a check before I drive, unless I’d done one in the past hour or so, and send a picture of my meter to either my mom or dad. Diabetics need to held to a higher standard in terms of driving, since it is more dangerous if we suddenly drop low, or are even too high. We should be responsible enough to check before we drive to keep not only ourselves safe, but our passengers and other drivers on the road. I do know the risks of driving and falling low, and that’s why I check before I drive, and all T1D drivers should.

Jessica (age 21)
Before I drive I check my blood sugar to make sure I am in range, not too high or too low (although I am usually more concerned with a low since my cognitive function is effected most when I am low). I always have juice and a snack in the car in case I feel like I am dropping. I also let my parents know when I arrive at my destination, especially if I experience a low during my trip or before. I think driving with diabetes is something that is often taken too lightly, but the majority of the time is completely manageable. The risks of driving are high on a daily basis, car accidents can happen for any number of reasons and being a diabetic just adds to that list. Driving with a high or low blood puts you life and the lives of others at risk and that shouldn’t be taken with a grain of salt. If I am low or even feel like I am trending low I stop and take a juice before I continue driving, similarly I correct as soon as I feel high or my sensor indicates a high blood sugar. I think it is up to us, the drivers, to make sure we are safe so that others can remain safe too.

Erin (age 17)
My endo said I shouldn’t drive below 100 and I should check before I drive. However, depending on the time of day, I know a typical pattern of how I run so unless I feel low or feel like I’m dropping I typically don’t check. I have driven while low before and I don’t recommend it, but both times it was to driving to get food as I didn’t have anything in my car. I am aware of the risks of driving while too high or too low and, with two exceptions, I have not driven while low and never have driven while high. I don’t have a contract with my parents, they say just to keep some money in my car in case I need to buy food because I’m low. My personal responsibility driving with T1D is to keep my sugars above 100 and otherwise to just drive under the laws of my state.

Mercedes (age 16)
Before I drive I will test my blood sugar, ideally 15 minutes before I drive. If I ever feel slightly low I will pull over wherever I can and test my blood sugar.

Laura (age 17)
I am of driving age, but haven’t had the opportunity to drive yet. If I could drive though, I’d definitely check my sugar before each time I hit the road. I am aware of the potential risks, but you all should also be aware that every driver has numerous risks whenever they’re behind the wheel, diabetic or not.

Ashley B. (age 15)
I always check my blood sugar before driving. This means before leaving the house, and leaving the place that I drove to. I also keep snacks in the car, along with some sugar pills.

Cameron (age 17)
I don’t have a contract with my parents. All I need to know is to check my sugar every time before I start driving, and if I go low while driving to pull over and treat the low.

Lexi (age 16)
I don’t drive (yet) but I would always have a bag of candies that are easy to reach without distraction or buy a non-diet soda and take one little sip every now and then to help.

Jordan (age 18)
It is important to make sure that your number is not one that would inhibit you from driving well.  You are not just putting yourself at risk, you are putting the lives of others on the line.  Though you didn’t choose to have diabetes, it is still your fault if someone gets hurt, and you have to bear that responsibility for the rest of your life.  I have a driving contract with my parents, and if I don’t test before I drive, I lost my car keys for a month.  Then when I do drive I will have to take a picture of my meter (to show I tested) and text it to my parents before I am allowed to start the car.

Cole (age 16)
Before I start the car my blood sugar needs to be over 120. I also need to have some sort of sugar readily available near me, my Dexcom needs to be recalibrated, and I need to text/tell my mom.

Nick (age 20)
If it’s going to be a long drive (my school is an hour away from home, so most drives are) I always test before I head out. I have my bag with me, which is always stocked with snacks just in case. Other than “don’t wreck,” my parents are pretty lenient with rules regarding my driving. I suppose my responsibilities are to know how diabetes could affect my behavior on the road, and take it into account before I go anywhere.

Ashley C. (age 14)
When I am old enough, I know I will have to check my b/g before I drive to make sure I can drive. My personal responsibility is to make sure I’m not too low or too high to drive because I could be a danger to myself and others.

Ian(age 14)
I am not yet of driving age, but I do know that I need to have EXCELLENT control of my numbers, and need to know what out of range feels like. I feel that it would be of utmost importance for me to wear a medical I.D. more strictly than I currently do. I am fully aware of the potential risks.

Skylyn (age 16)
I currently have my permit but I will be taking my driver test hopefully soon. When I am driving with my mom, before I get behind the wheel, I always make sure to test my blood sugar. I also like to have a drink in the car that has carbs, such as Gatorade, so in case I feel low I can just drink some of it and feel better.



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