Acute hyperglycaemia can impair driving skill in young type 1 diabetes mellitus patients

Alon Haim, Rotem Shalev Shamy, Dana Ridel, Yisrael Parmet, Neta Loewenthal, Idit Liberty, Shai Tejman-Yarden, Eli Hershkovitz, Avinoam Borowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aim: Drivers with diabetes are at increased risk of being involved in road accidents. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effects of acute hyperglycaemia (AH) compared with euglycaemia on driving ability in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Methods: Eighteen drivers with T1DM were asked to navigate twice through nine hazardous scenarios, using a driving simulator, during euglycaemia and then again during AH (mean blood glucose: 138 ± 34 mg/dL and 321 ± 29 mg/dL, respectively) in a counterbalanced crossover study. Driving performance was continually monitored for driving speed, steering wheel angle, acceleration, and location and velocity of other vehicles and obstacles, with drivers wearing a mobile head-mounted eye-tracking system. Results: The main findings were that, during AH, participants were less likely to identify a hazard [probability of identification (POI): 0.5725 ± 0.5], glanced fewer times at the hazard (3.24 ± 5.9), maintained shorter headway (between-vehicle) distance (mean: 40.87 ± 20.15 m) and had an increased number of braking events per km driven (6.69 ± 5.20) compared with driving during euglycaemia (POI: 0.733 ± 0.4; number of glances: 3.69 ± 6.99; headway distance: 50.46 ± 26.2 m; number of braking events per km driven: 4.31 ± 3.87; P < 0.05 for all parameters). Conclusion: This study provides evidence that AH impairs driving performance in young T1DM patients by demonstrating the negative effects of AH on both hazard perception and speed management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101176
JournalDiabetes and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Acute hyperglycaemia
  • Driving performance
  • Driving simulator
  • Euglycaemia
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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