I am not a great driver I am inclined to panic a lot when driving especially when I am nervous!
When I was in Waterford yesterday I was driving up Bunkers Hill when the car in front of me stopped and my car engine cut out!
I tried to start it again but the car wouldnt go up the hill!
I think it was because of the parking brake I am not sure!
As I was very stressed I started to panic especially when there was a line of traffic behind me!
I kept trying but I could not get the car up the hill!
I tried this for ten minutes with no joy!
Then this kind lady stopped as she could see I was in a panic!
She asked if the car was automatic as that’s what she drove but mine was manual therefore it was harder to drive up the hill!
She tried but like me she couldnt manage to move it so I asked this man who was walking by if he knew anything about cars but he was a foreigner who did not understand my Scottish accent!
As the kind women did not know what to do I told her I would try to sort it out myself and she got in her car and drove away!
Then in the rear view mirror I spotted a young capable looking man in the car behind!
So I went up to him and asked him could he help me as I was no good at hill starts!
Then he got out of his car and walked to mine,got into the driver’s seat and drove the car up the hill straight away!
I was embarassed that I could not do a hill start and told him I was shaking because of all the drama and he said not to worry that it was only Waterford and no one would mind!
I thought that was kind and he went on his way!
I was wondering if any of you have any embarassing driving experiences yourself?
If you have any funny stories to tell I would love to hear them!
Please leave your stories in the comment section below or email them to me directly!
Driving safely is something we all believe in. If you have diabetes and wish to drive, it is important to be aware of the legal requirements especially if driving is part of your profession.
Irish and EU legislation requires that a driver should advise their driver licensing authority of any long-term or permanent injury or any illness that may affect their safe driving ability.
People with diabetes are currently subject to some licensing requirements and restrictions.
These licensing decisions occur at several points and involve different levels and types of review, depending on the country and type of driving.
Some countries and local jurisdictions impose no special requirements for people with diabetes!
Other countries and jurisdictions ask drivers with diabetes various questions about their condition, including their management regimen and whether they have experienced any diabetes-related problems that could affect their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
In some instances, answers to these questions result in restrictions being placed on a person’s license, including restrictions on the type of vehicle they may operate and/or where they may operate that vehicle.
Diabetics who are insulin dependent require more medical evaluation by a doctor than those who have no chronic illness!
Countries identify drivers with diabetes in a number of ways.
Drivers are either asked directly if they have diabetes or are otherwise required to fill out a medical form.
In most countries the driver with diabetes is required to submit to a medical evaluation form before he or she will be issued a driving license!
Driving And Hypoglycemia
The licensing agencies are trying to ensure you are safe on the road. They will be concerned if you are unable to recognise or self-treat your hypos.
Drivers with diabetes can have a hypoglycemic episode which can impair their ability to drive!
Hypoglycemia (also known as a hypo) is the medical term for a low blood glucose (sugar) level.
Severe hypoglycemia means that the assistance of another person is required. The risk of hypoglycemia is the main danger to safe driving . This may endanger your own life as well as that of other road users!
Accidents caused by hypoglycemia are sometimes because drivers carry on driving even though they get warning symptoms of hypoglycemia or they may have hypoglycemia unawareness.
For more information on hypoglycemia unawareness click here!
If you get warning symptoms of hypoglycemia whilst driving, you must always stop as soon as safely possible , do not ignore the warning symptoms!
Early Symptoms of Hypoglycemia include:
Sweating, shakiness or trembling, feeling hungry, fast pulse or palpitations, anxiety, tingling lips.
If you do not treat this it may result in more severe symptoms such as:
Slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, confusion, disorderly or irrational behaviour, which may be mistaken for drunkenness. If left untreated this may lead to loss of consciousness.
Drivers at risk of hypoglycemia are advised to take the following precautions:
1. You must always carry your glucose meter and blood glucose strips with you. You must check your blood glucose before driving and every two hours whilst you are driving.
2. In each case if your blood glucose is 5.0mmol/l(90.0mg/dl) or less, take a snack. If it is less than 4.0mmol/l(72.0mg/dl) or you feel hypoglycemic, do not drive and take appropriate action to correct your blood glucose level.
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3. If hypoglycaemia develops while driving, stop the vehicle as soon as possible.
4.You must switch off the engine, remove the keys from the ignition and unbelt your seat belt.
5. You must not start driving until 15 minutes after blood glucose has returned to normal. It takes up to 15 minutes for the brain to recover fully.
6. Always keep an emergency supply of fast-acting carbohydrate such as orange juice and jelly sweets within easy reach in the vehicle.
7.You should carry personal identification to show that you have diabetes in case of injury in a road traffic accident.
8.Particular care should be taken during changes of insulin regimens, changes of lifestyle, exercise, travel and pregnancy.
9.You must take regular meals, snacks and rest periods on long journeys. Always avoid alcohol.
Each time a person with diabetes at risk of hypoglycemia wishes to renew their driving licence, they must present a completed medical form stating their fitness to drive.
Generally the licence for diabetics will only be issued for three years duration in countries such as UK and Ireland.
You must also inform your National Driver Licence Service when renewing your licence:
1.If you have suffered more than one episode of severe hypoglycaemia within the last 12 months. You must also report if you or your medical team feel you are at high risk of developing severe hypoglycemia.
2. You have developed an impaired awareness of hypoglycemia (difficulty in recognising the warning symptoms of low blood sugar).
3. You have suffered severe hypoglycemia while driving.
4. You don’t meet the vision standards set out in your National Driver Licence Service Guidelines.
5. You develop any problems with the circulation or sensation in your legs or feet which make it necessary for you to drive certain types of vehicles only, for example automatic vehicles or vehicles with a hand-operated accelerator or brake. This must be shown on your driving licence.
6.An existing medical condition gets worse or you develop any other condition that may affect your driving safely.
7. If your doctor, specialist or optician tells you to report your condition to the National Driver Licence Service.
For people seeking a HGV licence ( drivers for bus/lorry) all of the above apply but in addition any episode of severe hypoglycaemia must be reported immediately.
Renewing your licence for a HGV licence – Trucks, buses and trailer vehicles
If you are at risk of hypoglycemia, you are required to present a completed medical form stating your fitness to drive.
The duration of the license is usually one year and is dependent on having appropriate understanding and awareness of hypoglycemia, no episodes of “severe” hypoglycemia, and you must demonstrate regular monitoring (at least twice daily and regularly at times relevant to driving) using a meter with memory capacity.
For your medical review, you must have three month’s blood glucose readings. Qualifying Conditions which also must be met include:
1.No episode of hypoglycemia requiring the assistance of another person has occurred in the preceding 12 months.
2. Must have appropriate awareness of hypoglycemia .
3.Must demonstrate an understanding of the risks of hypoglycemia.
4.Will not be able to apply until your condition has been stable for a period of at least one month.
5. Must regularly monitor your condition by checking blood glucose levels at least twice daily . A glucose meter with a memory function to measure and record blood glucose levels must be used.
6.At the annual examination by a consultant endocrinologist, 3 months of blood glucose readings must be available.
7. Must have no other condition which would render you a danger when driving HGV vehicles.
8.You will be required to comply with the directions of doctors(s) treating your diabetes and to report immediately to the Licensing service any significant change in your condition.
In the interests of road safety, you must be sure that you can safely control a vehicle at all times.
Some countries specify that doctors may voluntarily report those patients who pose an imminent threat to public safety because they are driving against medical advice.
Doctors and others required to make reports to the licensing authority are usually provided with immunity from civil and criminal actions resulting from the report.
When licensing authorities learn that a driver has experienced an episode of hypoglycemia that potentially affected their ability to drive, that driver is referred for a medical evaluation and in many cases will lose driving privileges for a period of time until cleared by the licensing authority.
This period can range from 3 to 6 months or longer. Some laws allow for waivers of the rules when the episode is a one-time event not likely to recur, for example because of a change in medication .
Medical evaluation procedures vary in countries and range from a simple confirmation of the person’s diabetes from a doctor to a more elaborate process involving a state medical advisory board, hearings, and presentation and assessment of medical evidence.
Some countries have medical advisory boards with nurses and doctors of different specialties who review and make recommendations concerning the licensing of people with diabetes and other medical conditions.
In other countries, licensing decisions are made by administrative staff with little or no medical training and with little or no review by a medical review board.
What About Insurance?
When you apply for insurance, you will need to tell your insurance company that you have diabetes.
However, you should not be penalised with a higher insurance premium because of your condition. All members of the Insurance Federation have now agreed that they will not load their premiums for people with diabetes.
Remember that failure to disclose any change in your health could invalidate your cover.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act, you should not be refused car insurance purely on the basis of your diabetes.
People with diabetes should be assessed individually, taking into account each individual’s medical history as well as the potential related risks associated with driving.
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