Background: Holding a Driver’s License comes with rights and responsibilities. People with diabetes (PWD) and their health care professionals (HCP) should be aware of the regulations around driving and diabetes.
Aim: To assess adherence to precautions around driving for PWD and the quality of documentation in patient medical records by HCP in our outpatient clinics.
Method: Current guidelines for driving and diabetes were researched, a questionnaire developed and Hospital Ethics approval obtained. Patients were recruited from our outpatient clinics and asked to complete a 13 item questionnaire prior to their consultation.
Results: 50 patients were recruited. 52% have type 1 diabetes. 100% of respondents held a Victorian Drivers License but only 35/50 (70%) had informed Vic Roads of their diabetes. All patients took either insulin (86%) or a sulphonylurea (14%) and therefore were at risk for hypoglycaemia. 26/50 (52%) drove as part of their job.
13/50 (30%) reported having a hypoglyceamic episode (hypo) in the past two weeks and a further 4/50 (8%) reported having a recorded blood glucose level (BSL) of < 3.5 mmol/L but did not consider this to be a hypo because they were asymptomatic.
Patients reported checking their BSL levels prior to driving:
Always 19 (38%); sometimes 8 (16%); before a long journey 2 (4%); suspected hypo 20 (40%);never1 (2%)
Only 5 (10%) of medical histories had documentation pertaining to diabetes and driving education.
Conclusion: Patients attending our diabetes clinics have poor knowledge of their requirements and practices to ensure safe driving. Documentation in the patient files show that HCPs do not routinely discuss safe driving with their patients.