Diabetics are not more prone to road accidents

Contrary to popular belief, people with diabetes do not have more car accidents than those without the condition, new research has suggested.

The study, carried out at the Peninsula Medical School and Peninsula Research and Development Unit in Exeter, looked at the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary database on road traffic collisions and the district retinal screening database to create a record of road traffic collisions among the diabetic population.

It found the rate of road traffic collisions in patients with insulin-treated diabetes to be lower (with 957 accidents per 100,000) than those who did not have the condition (1,469 accidents per 100,000) when the group was considered as a whole.

When the groups were stratified according to age, there was no significant difference in accident rate between the two groups at any age.

The finding has been welcomed by the charity Diabetes UK, which has long argued that it is unfair that local authorities can often prevent people with diabetes from becoming bus, lorry or taxi drivers.

“As long as the diabetes is well-controlled and there are no complications that would impair someone’s safety as a driver – and your doctor confirms this if asked – there is no reason why people with diabetes should not be issued with a license,” said Simon O’Neill, Diabetes UK’s director of care, information and advocacy.

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