Driving and diabetes
Oct 5, 2013 / 5:00 am
I was approached by a friend whose teenager had just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She had discovered that some driving schools offered specific driver training for new drivers that suffered from the disease. Was I aware of any driving school that offered a course like this in our part of British Columbia?
Not only was I not aware, I had never considered this question in relation to a new driver. I do touch on it briefly in the driving seminar that I do with Vancouver Island University's Elder College program but I had always thought about it in terms of end stage diabetic health problems. Difficulty with eyesight, nerve damage and peripheral circulation problems do interfere with someone's ability to drive safely but are more common in the elderly.
The challenge for a new driver would be a hypoglycemic incident. They may be inexperienced with the effects of an episode which can cause you to feel dizzy, shaky, or disoriented. In fact, a hypoglycemic driver could be mistaken for an alcohol or drug impaired driver. Worse still, depressed central nervous system activity can result in a hypoglycemic driver failing to decide not to drive.
A responsible driver, new or experienced, will recognize that certain health issues can jeopardize their ability to drive safely. Until they are confident managing the effects of the disease and taking into account the advice of their doctor, they will choose not to drive. The health of all road users will depend on them.
The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit www.drivesmartbc.ca.
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Tim Schewe has been writing his column for most of the 20 years in his traffic enforcement service in the RCMP. It was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and now Castanet.net. Schewe retired from the Force in January of 2006, but the column became a habit and continues.
E-mail him your questions or concerns: [email protected]
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