Safety Issues in Diabetics Who Drives: Assessing Significant Knowledge Gap that Requires Urgent Intervention among Medical Doctors in Nigeria


Olamoyegun Michael A, Ajani Gbadebo D, Akinlade Mathias O, Ala Oluwabukola A

INTRODUCTION: Diabetes, due to its many complications and its treatment modalities, may reduce driving safety and contribute to increase in the number of accidents. Hence, we assessed doctors' knowledge on recommendations regarding eligibility to drive especially among insulin - treated diabetics.

METHODS: A total of 102 doctors of different cadres participated in the study conducted by an online survey in Nigeria over a 4 weeks period in April 2021.

RESULTS: Majority of the respondents, 97 (95.1 %), 93 (92.2 %) and 69 (67.6 %) knew that hypoglycaemia, retinopathy, and neuropathy respectively will predispose diabetics to road traffic accidents. Sixty-eight (66.7 %) participants were not aware of recommendations for insulin-treated patients with diabetes and safe driving. Only a third had ever discussed the possible risk of road traffic crashes with insulin-treated patients. The recommended time of not later than 30 minutes to check blood glucose levels before driving by patients was correctly answered by only 31 (32.6 %) participants, while 51 (53.7 %) respondents knew the need to wait for at least 30-45 minutes after effective treatment of mild to moderate hypoglycaemia before driving. While 37.9 % knows the acceptable blood glucose level considered safe to drive, only 12.6 % knew the recommended frequency and time at which to recheck blood glucose levels during a long trip. CONCLUSION: The results show the poor knowledge of doctors on several aspects of fitness to drive, hence, it is necessary for all doctors to have a basic knowledge on the recommendations on fitness to drive among people living with diabetes so they can be advised appropriately.