Managing diabetes

Managing diabetes

Travel and Driving

If you are going on a trip, whether by car, plane or train, it is essential that you plan your diabetes management for the duration of the journey. 


There are a number of things to consider when planning a trip, such as different airline regulations (for domestic and international travel), ensuring you have a well-timed itinerary, in-flight needs and being prepared for unexpected situations, such as delayed travel.



As long as your diabetes is well-managed there's no reason why you shouldn't be issued with a licence. However you must tell the road transport authority and your insurance company that you have diabetes.


Check your blood glucose level before driving and ensure the reading is above 5mmol/L. Carry fast and longer acting carbohydrate when you drive. Also carry your blood glucose meter. Check your blood glucose level at least every two hours on long trips and check that the reading is above 5mmol/L. If a hypo occurs, pull over safely and treat it immediately. 


You should not drive if you:

  • Have difficulty recognising the early signs of hypoglycaemia
  • Are just starting to take insulin and your blood glucose levels are not yet within the recommended range 
  • Have problems with your eyesight that are not corrected with glasses
  • Have numbness or weakness in your limbs
  • Have been feeling unwell - this can upset blood glucose levels.  



Most insurance policies exclude pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, because although diabetes can be treated, people with the condition are more likely to develop medical complications (such as blindness, nerve damage and kidney problems).


It is essential when arranging a policy that you fully inform the insurance company about your diabetes even if they do not ask. If you don't, you might find your claim is rejected.


For more information about safe travel and driving, please see the 'Information for travel' resources provide on this page.