Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Should Visually Impaired People be Allowed to Drive?

This would be one of those "ranting" posts I mentioned last time... read on at your own displeasure!

My seventeen-year-old visually impaired son passed his driving test yesterday and will get his driver's license today. Does that scare you?

It does me, but not necessarily more than having any other teenager driving on the road.

Actually, I think my son *might* be more careful on the road than most teenagers (I know... I'm biased and maybe even looking through rose colored lenses). But why do I think this?
1) He knows this is a privilege.
2) He knows that he doesn't understand his limitations... so he errors on the side of caution.
3) He knows that his vision is already impaired - so driving in snow, fog, and/or rain really does complicate the situation.

I know a lot of other mothers have concerns about my son being on the road. People have said things like, "Should he really be driving?"

Maybe he shouldn't.

But maybe your son, or grandmother, or father, shouldn't be either.

My son has one good eye, no depth perception, and is considered functionally blind.

But he passed both the written and driving tests to get his license. And no, we didn't tell the testers ahead of time that he was functionally blind. :)

Go ahead, tell me... do you think the testing process should be more strict to keep visually impaired people off the roads? And, if you say, "YES!" should we also make the tests more strict to keep airheads-ADD-texters-road.ragers-drinkers-and.other.irritating.drivers off the road as well?


  1. Congrats to your son! especially when the testers didn't even know he was impaired. It is more of a risk I suppose, but like you point out--others are out there driving while drunk or on prescription (or otherwise) meds, texting, on their cells, distracted or upset, elderly and unable to see well or turn their heads fully, etc.

    At least your son has one good eye. That's more than some octogenarians have! I had a high school teacher who had a glass eye, and he drove with only one good eye and no depth perception. It can be done. ;o)

  2. There are a lot of people who should be kept off the roads. :) Since he passed all the tests, I will add my congratulations to the stack!