Tag Archives: low blood sugar and driving

Driving and Hypoglycemia


Have you ever driven while suspicious of having low blood sugar?  Have you ever thought you should stop and test but said to yourself, “I’ll test when I get to the next light” or “I’m almost there”?  Or do you always park the car, test, fix your low, and then be on your way?

How do we feel on this matter?  It’s an ethical one for sure.  What might make it awfully common is the fact that for a diabetic, lows are not once in a lifetime matters.  They happen plenty enough so that we don’t panic over many of them.  We might even classify them for our personalized experiences:

Class 1 Low

Just starting to feel low, around 60-65 when tested, energy level is still decent

Cass 2 Low

Feeling a bit shaky but not too bad.  About 55-60 when tested

Class 3 Low

Active insulin on board causing this to be a violent and sudden low.  These feel the worst for me.

Class 4 Low

Blood sugar in the 40’s also known as Eat. Sugar. Now.”

Class 5 Low

Sugar in the 20’s and 30’s. Red alert light beeping loudly in brain, heart feeling heavy and beating fast, and mixed in is a feeling of <yawwnn> “I’m so sleepy…”

(Please note the above is MY classification, it may not be how lows feel for YOU)

Since I am most often dealing with Class 1 and 2 lows, I will often test at a light or a gas station or parking lot, intake sugar (as long as I don’t have active insulin) and as long as I feel ok then continue on my way.

I’m thinking I should instead stop the car somewhere safe and only attempt moving it again once a blood test confirms an adequate blood sugar level for driving.  Inconvenient, yes, but what would you say this is:

A type 1 diabetic woman once told me about how one time she felt funny while driving and decided to ignore it because the kids were screaming in the back seat and she was in a hurry.  Next thing she knew she was being helped by paramedics after having crashed her car.  They tested her sugar to be 43.  She and her kids were fine but she said she learned her lesson.  As we all should before something happens…

What do you do when you’re driving and feel low? 

And do you classify your types of lows?