I am wondering how most insulin-dependent folks here answer the question on driver's license forms about whether you have any disease or condition that affects your ability to drive safely. I usually say "no" because in my 44 years of D and driving, no driving problems that way... But I feel kind of guilty about it?
I would never suggest that anyone lie when answering questions. But in my view, if the question simply asks whether you have a "condition which affects your ability to drive safely" then the judgement is left up to the respondant. If the respondant make a "judgement mistake" that is not grounds to say they "lied."
If the state wants to know whether I take insulin as a diabetic, they need to specifically ask that. My strategy is to never volunteer that information, it is my personal health information. And further, I only answer with the minimum information required, it only invites problems to write an essay response.
I won't lie on an application, I will try to use good judgement when answering questions, but I'm not going out of way to provide extra information or postulate on every little bad thing that could happen. They could ask stupid questions, like will you ever drive aggressively. How would you answer that?
I agree with that completely very well said. If they pose subjective questions then they will get a thoughtful, yet subjective answer. I take lipitor, zestril, and zinc. I have not carefully read the side effects, but I am sure somewhere in the fine print it says "may impair your ability to drive", because some little old lady had an accident while on the medication. So we all may take medications which impair or effect our ability to drive it's all in the fine print.
I agree with bsc and Clare and that's how I operate. If they want to know if I take insulin, that's the question they need to ask.
This issue has always made me a bit angry because I've never heard a news report locally of anyone with diabetes causing an accident. We have, however, had multiple reports of people having heart attacks and crashing into buildings. So if they want to target PWD, why aren't they also targeting people with heart disease?
There is a fine line between minimal adequate disclosure and opening yourself up to post-event underwriting. Health insurance companies have been combing through applications for years looking for immaterial errors and voiding coverage when large claims arise. It's nice to be in the right but at $350 per hour for legal fees, challenging the insurance company is something few of us can afford.
I think the MA question - do you take any medications that can cause a change in consciousness - is clear enough. An insulin error can cause loss of consciousness. A friend from my early twenties told me the story of how he had to take control of the steering wheel of his mother's car when he was a young teenager. She was blindly driving into oncoming traffic. She was an early and effictive insulin user.
I always say "no" because it has never affected my ability to drive. I am well controlled and plan to stay that way. Plus, it is a very vague question. If you were 100 pounds overweight, you could possibly have a heart attack, sleep apnea, you could fall asleep at the wheel, anxious, you could have a panic attack. So, I am perfectly comfortable saying no.
It's interesting that we all have our reason and justification for saying yes or no. There has been some government funded study's that have shown no indication that we as PWD's have more traffic accidents...the study did find that we suffer from more injury's associated with what is referred to as a soft fall when compared to non PWD's.
I would like to thank everyone who has decided to donate their organs. I was diagnosed with Hepatic cellular carcinoma (Absolutely Blind sided in February of this year) and I'm waiting for a organ transplant my blood type is B+ so chances of me receiving a organ are low because only about 5 % of the US population has B+ blood. The system picks the next in line based on how sick they are and every year about 15K indaviduls die while waiting for a organ. I would have no problem excepting a organ from a diabetic as soon as it is placed in my body it will become a diabetic organ.
Enjoy your life anything can happen there are many more land mines on your road through life besides Diabetes...:-)
Sorry to hear that John :(
My thoughts are with you..
I live in California and I check yes.
The first time I checked yes, I had to go to talk to some official before they would renew my license. It took ten minutes. He asked me some general questions regarding my diabetes management, gave me a short narrative about the potential dangers and the importance of proper management. I nodded, smiled, agreed enthusiastically, made some smalltalk, then was sent on my way with the green light to renew my license.
Driving is a privilage that can be taken away. I figure lieing by ommission on your renewal application would be pretty good grounds. As a general rule, I'll begin the renwal process as soon as possible to deal with potential issues that come up. I've had plenty of issues come up during the renewal, but diabetes has never been one of them.
The DMV clerk may ask one or two questions, but I've never been given the impression that anything like an endo's note or additional documentation is an actual requirement just because you check the box. Usually, the DMV clerk either doesn't notice or appears to have no obligation to enquire.
If the day comes when I am required to produce documentation, so be it, I have plenty of it.
From a moral perspective, yes I think it should be declared.
From a legal perspective, insurance companies will look into everything to try and remove their liability to pay out. If you have failed to declare a major health issue that can impact on your ability to drive and then you have an accident, you will no doubt have hefty legal bills to look forward to and end up out of pocket and perhaps with a criminal charge.
In the UK I declare it, I am on a 3 year restricted licence. Every three years the vehicle licensing authority writes to by my consultant and my GP and asks them to review my fitness to drive..
If I have more than 1 hypo in a 12 months period that requires 3rd party intervention, e.g. help from the emergency services I am very likely to have my licence revoked.
If my consultant or GP have nothing to update because I have failed to keep my appointments or failed to keep in contact with my healthcare team, again my licence is likely to be revoked.
It is also required that I test my blood sugar before driving a vehicle and at frequent intervals during long journeys.
Although this may surprise some, I feel that it is a sensible approach.
As I said declare it, if it doesn't impact on your driving, you are unlikely to loose you licence or suffer any negative consequences from the declaration. You will also get piece of mind.
Is it true that regular folks in the UK ( Non PWD's) never have to renew their license?
Yep ha! It is why you get 90 year olds, half blind, driving down the wrong side of the motorway ha..
I believe there are actions in motion to address this issue..
In my life, I've had drivers licenses in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and none of those states have ever asked me that question. But if they did, I'd say "no". I don't feel the answer is deceptive, because diabetes (by itself) is not something that affects my ability to drive safely -- I can, and do, drive quite safely with D.
If I don't take care of myself, and subsequently am not in any shape to drive, well, that's my own problem, not D's problem. Along those lines, that logic applies to even non-D drivers: not enough sleep, too much to drink, kids in the back seat (hopefully not all 3 at once!) all can affect someone's ability to drive safely, and has nothing to do with a "disease or condition".