How to drive with an eye patch

Written by abaigeal quinn
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Those who drive with eye patches have two issues that need to be addressed when adapting to driving. The first is the loss of stereoscopic binocular vision, and the other is the reduced peripheral field of vision. You can compensate for these deficiencies by learning how to adapt your vehicle to increase your visual capacities for blind spots, changing the way you move your head to take in peripheral areas normally seen when glancing sideways, and by protecting your good eye.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Fish-eye mirrors
  • Wide-angled review mirror
  • Safety glasses

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  1. 1

    Practice learning the limitations of your new situation. Your peripheral vision will be lessened, and you will need to rely on turning your head side-to-side to properly view driving areas. It takes some time to adjust to using only one eye; do not attempt to drive until you feel comfortable doing so.

  2. 2

    Install additional optical aids on your car, such as fish-eye mirrors mounted on each side of the vehicle or the installation of a wide-angle mirror.

  3. 3

    Take extra care when parking and avoid parking spaces in tight locations. Your depth perception in areas within 20 feet will be reduced and no longer as accurate as before.

  4. 4

    Avoid driving large vehicles or those that do not have automatic transmissions. Decreased vision should not be further complicated with your need to be shifting and attending to a clutch. If you will be wearing an eye patch permanently or for any length of time, consider purchasing a vehicle with good field-of-view vision that is easy to park and manoeuvre.

  5. 5

    Protect your good eye with polycarbonate protective lenses when driving, even if you do not use corrective lenses. Glasses should also be worn for night driving made with an anti-reflective coating to help ease eye strain on your good eye.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid driving in poor weather conditions while your eye is patched.
  • Some states have restrictions on those driving with only one eye; check with your local motor vehicles department for details.

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