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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Driving with one eye

Hello everyone,
I just got my permit to start driving and am blind in my right eye since birth. Are there any tips or tricks as far as how to learn to drive. For instance where to look to make sure that you are staying in your lane or not over too far etc. I am also looking for what car types people find most helpful and any modifications that may be made to make seeing while driving easier.


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Re: Driving with one eye



I woke up partially blind in my left eye one morning at age 25 with a central retinal vein occlusion caused by the early stages of glaucoma affecting my eye that was damaged due to an assault prior. Over a couple months it turned into neovascular glaucoma which took all of my vision in my left eye. 14 surgeries and an ahmed valve and I still have the eye at least. Meanwhile, I’m about to turn 40, stopped driving for three months after the initial disaster and surgery, took another six months to adjust to my new life, then said the hell with it, I’m not gonna let this stop me. I’ve been driving ever since, and have had licensing in three states. Have driven 26 foot U-Hauls with my car on a trailer from NY to FL to DC and back at least six times. Have driven a forklift for a living at multiple jobs and was an OSHA certified forklift trainer. As for the dude that said don’t buy a convertible? That’s crazy. I drive my sweet BMW convertible like a bat outta hell all over my part of FL. Driving is my passion. Top down equals no visibility barriers. My dart and pool games are off the chart, which helps with betting and the ladies, lol. (Don’t need to close one eye to aim!) Does it suck sometimes? Absolutely! But how you adapt is what counts. You can do anything you want if you have the desire to find a way to do it. I’m not special, but I sure am stubborn.


Re: Driving with one eye



I have also been blind in my right eye since birth. I just got my permit as well. I noticed that staying in the lane properly is difficult, but I judge my space on my right by staying very close to the line on road on my left. Also, slightly tilting your right side mirror down helps to see the curb or line and assists in judging how far over you are.


Re: Driving with one eye



I was born blind in my left eye and the only real trouble I've had is driving at night with all the bright head lights and areas with bad lighting. I've only had my licence for 4 years at this point. Only advice I really have is really check your blind spots when switching lanes, especially the side you can't see on. I think it's really just practice and finding what works for you. After drivers ed I did a lot of practice driving in empty areas like back roads and large empty parking lots with my parents helping me learn where I was on the road. Though I was scared to learn to drive and it was more to help me gain confidence. Just one last small tip: when checking blind spots if your like me and turn your head pretty far to see your bigger blind spot make sure it's just your head not your whole body or hands or you'll find yourself drifting in the direction your looking. My drivers ed teacher told me most beginning drivers did that regardless and goes away with experience. Hope some of this helps, but everyone's different so find what works best for you! Best of luck!


Re: Driving with one eye



One of my best friends was born with a tumor on her lovely face and had to have an eye removed along with the tumor. She is a graphic designer, married and a swell grandmother. Her driving lacked the perception fields, but she compensated with extra mirrors and now with the new tech stuff on the new cars, her confidence has been amazing and driving less risky. From experience, anyone that wants to drive needs a refresher course on how to handle difficult situations by someone that is experienced teacher--especially if you live in snow and ice areas of US. Hope this helps.


Re: Driving with one eye



Today I gave a Road Test to a Driver Education student so he could obtain his Operator's License here in Indiana. The student told me at the start of the test that he was legally blind in one eye. While making lane changes during the test he had difficulty checking his blind spots when changing lanes. I'd like to find information and advise on how to assist students with visual impairments in obtaining their licenses.


Re: Driving with one eye



Hi,
I'm blind from my right eye and have been driving for more than 18 years.
Don't buy a convertible (at least this is one of the restrictions I have in my driver's license).
I can only say that my impairment never affected my driving and if I drive according to rules and drive in a more defensive way (with experience, you start reading the road and other driver's behavior) the changes to run into problems are very slim!
Enjoy driving and always care about you and the others in the road!


Re: Driving with one eye



OK I cheated, I have driven for 40 years before I lost sight in my right eye due to Cancer. I traveled to work everyday for 2 years 50 minutes each way. ( all express driving) I think it made me more aware that I should really pay attention to my surroundings. I payed attention to my rear view mirrors, on both sides and over me dash. I have driven to Cleveland ( 8 1/2 hours) and Boston ( 4 hours). and back with no issues. Patrice makes perfect. you can do it.


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