Driving issues?

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Driving issues?

Unread post by lucy.lee » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:17 pm

Hi all,

I passed my driving test (finally) about six months ago and still have absolutely no confidence. I drive every day and have made long journeys also.
I've been blind in my right eye since birth. Some of my family tried to discourage me from learning to drive but I did it anyway, I never thought I'd have any issues.

Anyway, I know I'm still a new driver but I just get really paranoid, like I 'need to see more'. I get so worried trying to overtake because being in the UK, driving on the right, we overtake in the right lane and I'm blind on my right side so I always get so panicky that I would miss something. I think it doesn't help when fully sighted people say to me ''Oh I don't know how you can drive with just one eye, I couldn't do it''.

Also I seem to have problems with depth perception, for example reversing into a space and not knowing how far back to go, whether I would hit something etc.
I haven't told anyone this because I don't think it's very encouraging! But I'm considering giving up driving and I just regret all that money wasted.

Has anyone had any issues driving or any experiences, I would love to know.


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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by chemgal » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:55 pm

You are right to be worried - but don't be so much so that it stops you. Depth perception is an issue for me, particularly when parking. However, I try to either pull into a pull out spot, which means I look for a spot that I can pull into the space in front so I don't have to back out to exit, or I park far away and walk.

I avoided driving for a while and it wasn't an issue as I had family to drive me and my kids around. Finally, they force my hand and made me start again. Keep doing it. And don't let anyone discourage you. When someone says they couldn't do it with one eye, tell them they probably have without even thinking of it. Everyone has probably gotten an eyelash in their eye or soemthing that forced them to close it.

Good luck to you. Take small trips close by home until you build up your confidence.
Left eye damaged due to parasitic infection 2007. Enucleation November 3, 2011.

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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by Moby » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:55 pm

Hello Lucy, I think most countries are pretty strict when it comes to passing a driving test...and you passed, that is something to be proud of. Do you have those extra mirrors on your side mirrors [someone here will know what I mean]? These are apparently a great help. Practice close to home. I never went back to driving, I got so verklempt, I felt as though my head would burst. I am sorry now I did not have enough confidence. Driving gives one independence to join in. Best wishes and keep at it.
F/ Amblyopia, intra-ocular lens both eyes, cornea transplant, blind in L/Eye due to retinal detachment.Glaucoma. Capsulotomy seeing eye.
Seek someone who communicates with you in laughter for laughter can turn a sad day into a joyful one.

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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by chemgal » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:30 pm

On a bit of a tangent, I listened to a podcast the other day in which their was an interesting driving fact shared that I think will affect everyone who has eye issues. Children who are currently enrolled in kindergarten will NEVER drive a car. Self driving cars will be the only transportation they know.
Left eye damaged due to parasitic infection 2007. Enucleation November 3, 2011.

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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by Peter C. » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:33 pm


Stick with it, in a little while you will be just as good a driver as anyone with both eyes and in some cases even better as you will naturally be more cautious. I am 68 and lost my L eye 3 years ago and went back to driving within 3 days and now consider myself a safer driver than I was before.
I use the parabolic mirror attachments and also when city driving I keep my window open just a crack so I can hear vehicles to my left. Yes when parking I have some difficulty but I always try to reverse in and sometimes get out to see how close I am to the rear obstacles there is nothing wrong with that.
Remember with mono or binocular vision we all see the same after 25 ft so that is the distance you need to practice more.


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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by nlz7749 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:47 am

Firstly congratulations on passing your driving test.I also have no sight in my right eye and also drive in the uk.My situation is that I lost my right eye in an accident and had to adapt to driving with just the one.Initially I thought I would never be able to but a year on I don't even think about it now.I found using an extra wing mirror on your right hand side is a good
addition,mine just clips on top of the existing mirror,like driving instructors use,these help when cars are along side you.My only other issue was parking,to overcome this I had sensors
fitted which are a godsend and not too expensive,no more getting in and out to check the distance behind.Hope this helps you and wish you all the best for the future.

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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by Dynat10 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:52 am

Hi Lucy,

I am also blind in my left eye since birth and never had any trouble learning to drive or driving. I have my driving license since 2003 and drive 15,000miles a year and live in a city were precise parking is a must.

In theory you only lose 35degrees of the horizontal visual field which is roughly about 20% loss from someone with 2 eyes. So there is not that much 'more to see''.

When overtaking you should always check your rightside mirror first and always place the rear-view mirror slightly more from the center to the right side of the car to double check before manouvering. Also the depth perception problem is indeed ONLY a problem when reversing and not driving.

Oh and one thing dont ever let people discourage you of ur handicap.

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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by Warrick » Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:04 am

Hi Lucy

I'm in New Zealand so same issue of lost right eye. I am also concerned about being aware of cars coming up from behind, especially merging, changing lanes etc. However, I actually find being on a dual carriageway is easier than single lane with opposing traffic. I just take extra care to make sure I'm actually looking in the blind spot and give plenty of warning.

I've heard that beyond about 20m the only real difference is that two-eyed people have two eyes and two parts of the brain dealing with sight - where of course we only have one. For me it is a speed of handling the information. Human eyes are so close together that at distance there is no real binocular vision. Different matter for things close up of course.

I generally find my distance judgement for parking is that I think I'm much closer than I am. So far never driven into anything and far more likely I've left a much wider gap than intended (occasionally get out and check). I drive most days but was advised to take a 3 month break after surgery nearly 2 years ago.

Well done on persisting and passing your license. I'd hate to have to do that again, regardless of eye status!


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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by pumpkin » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:02 pm

I feel the same as you! I'm blind in my left eye and driving in the US. The worst part is after a while I begin to think that I'm actually good at driving and start to perform some risky maneuvers here and there haha. I think as long as you are driving in familiar roads, you can learn to minimize your need to change lanes. Even if it means it takes more time, safety is always worth it!
Fireworks accident 1999 (11 y.o). A few surgeries to make my eyes more symmetric. On my third prosthesis.

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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by sHighlander » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:56 pm

Hi Lucy
I lost my right eye 3 years ago and I have been driving ever since on the UK roads. Just take it easy do not rush, drive "defensively".

Check the mirrors couple of times before overtaking, relax when you are sure 100% than pull out, you can always delay it and take extra 30 secs or minute if unsure and double check.

If reversing next to another car I try to level my mirror with the mirror of the adjacent car and that does the trick. If unsure how far you reversed open the door and lean out to check that will do the trick
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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by Johnwick88 » Mon May 08, 2017 7:05 am

I myself have the same problem as you. But my eyes are barely visible at night. Even less light on the way.

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Re: Driving issues?

Unread post by DAMUNSON » Mon May 08, 2017 4:42 pm

Don't give up. Each day is going to be easier than the last. Those cautious practices that you are employing are going to serve you well as time goes by.
I might add that even after 20 years I still don't drive after dark any more than I really have too. and then only on roads that I'm familiar with. (But the occasional pizza run is going to happen.)
Male, 71
Undetected ciliary paralysis in left eye.

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