November is Diabetes Month – and it is only appropriate that we also focus on diabetes and the role that this might have on safety on the road. On the 24th of October 2008 we asked the question “Is diabetes a significant risk on the roads?”
This question was asked with reference to a vehicle accident in Durban when a taxi cab driver drove into three vehicles parked at a block of flats. It was alleged that the driver evidently had a diabetic attack and hit a brick wall.
Residents watched as the cab crashed into their high-fenced wall. The wall then fell on to 3 vehicles. They were told that the driver of the Eagle Taxis cab had a “diabetic attack”. We would like to revisit this topic at the start of this Diabetes Month.
Does diabetes pose a significant road safety risk and do we understand this medical condition?
Diabetes is a life-long condition where you have too much sugar in your blood, due to a lack of insulin. This high blood sugar level, if left untreated, can cause irreversible the damage and ultimately lead to death.
Symptoms of diabetes include
• Blurred vision
• Dry skin or skin infections
• Recurring infections
• Wounds or cuts that won’t heal
• Unexplained weight loss
• Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
How can Diabetics manage Diabetes?
• Diabetes is a treatable condition. Keep a positive attitude and take note of the changes you have to make to your lifestyle to control the disease.
• Eat a healthy diet to help keep your blood sugar in control and to maintain a healthy body weight.
• Get regular exercise to help regulate your blood sugar. It will also reduce your risk of heart disease, and help to control your weight.
• If drugs are prescribed to help keep your blood sugar in control, take them as instructed. Too little medication will make your blood sugar rise higher that usual, and too much will cause your blood sugar level to drop.
• Take good care of your feet. Diabetes affects the nerve function and blood flow to the feet, increasing your risk of infection.
• Get regular eye exams. Changes in your eyesight caused by diabetes often have no symptoms until the damage is quite advanced.
Diabetes need not pose a significantly higher risk to road safety! Awareness of the symptoms and constant monitoring of their health should help all our friends with diabetes to Arrive Alive!