support for teens
Will I be able to get my driver's license?
When you go to get your licence at the SAAQ (Société de l’Assurance Automobile du Québec), you must say that you are a diabetic, even if no one asks!
If you fail to provide this information and then get into an accident, the insurance company may refuse to pay.
The SAAQ will tell you how to get two medical forms completed. One is for your doctor and the other for an eye exam.
Two complications of diabetes could temporarily prevent you from getting a licence:
- A severe hypoglycaemic episode within the prior six months.
- Poor control over your diabetes (HbA1c ≥ 12% or more).
The definition of poor control considered by the SAAQ is equivalent to very poor control, i.e. a glycated hemoglobin of ≥ 12% or more.
Low blood sugar is the big problem. Tests show that a driver’s reflexes suffer below 3.8 mmoles/L. However, most diabetics do not think that they are low at that level and fail to correct minor episodes of hypoglycaemia.
But such episodes mean you have a higher risk of an accident. Drive safely!
Ways to prevent hypoglycemia while driving :
1 – Always have a blood sugar meter with you.
2 – Always having sugar supplements.
3 – Check blood sugar before driving. It must be higher than 4.0 mmoles/L.
4 – If your blood sugar drops below 4.0 mmoles/L, make the necessary adjustments. Then be sure it’s over 5 mmoles/L before getting behind the wheel. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends waiting 45 minutes, to let your brain get fully in shape, before driving.
5 – Check your blood sugar every four hours, if travelling.
6 – Pull off the road if you feel you may be suffering from hypoglycaemia—and check your blood sugar.
Diabetes Section Team
University of Montreal