Research Article

Global regulations on diabetic treated with insulin and their operation of commercial motor vehicles. DiaMond Project Group on Social Issues.

BMJ 1993; 307 doi: (Published 24 July 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;307:250


Governments often regulate who may and may not drive vocationally for public safety purposes. Recent arguments, however, imply that employment opportunities may be limited unnecessarily for people with medical impairments. Drivers with diabetes treated with insulin are commonly perceived to pose an increased risk of accidents because of their susceptibility to hypoglycaemia. Much uncertainty, though, surrounds the data on the risks of these drivers. An international survey studied the licensing policies applied to professional lorry drivers with diabetes treated with insulin. Responses from 24 countries indicated that regulations differ considerably; ranging from a complete ban on professional driving to no restrictions at all. Many reasons may explain this difference, including the lack of data on the effects of hypoglycaemia on the incidence of traffic accidents. A proper account of the risks of diabetic drivers is necessary to balance fairly the rights of employment against the risks.