Driving with vision loss

My daughter has a field cut that reduces her field of vision to about 120 degrees. She is missing the vision to the left. Although her doctor sent us a letter okaying her to drive when she turns 16, I wonder if it will be safe for her to do so. Does anyone else have a field cut that is willing to share their driving experiences? Dani routinely runs into people and knocks things over that she simply doesn’t see. Although it’s several years out, the idea of her driving scares me. Of course, not driving would be very limiting for her.

hi rebecca,
i think the rules governing dani driving is dependant on each individual country and state…my avm was first diagnoised as i woke one morning knocking into everything…later i side swipped a car then decided it was time to see a doctor…presto avm…anyway it had taken my left pheriphal vision my drivers licences was taken on the spot…in Australia you have to have a certain degree of pheriphal vision in both eyes to drive…the fact dani only has a cut should be taken into consideration …i had lost all…but like i said the driving rules may diffrent for each country and state

What kind of rehab? After the bleed she was blind then regained most of her vision over the next month. At 4 months post bleed she had only 90 degrees of vision, a year later she had 120 degrees. We’re still hoping for improvement, but realistically she isn’t going to have a full recovery. I have already started talking to her about the risks and that I won’t let her drive if I feel it isn’t safe for her and others. It’s a ways off, but we have to talk about it. We live in a rural area so not driving will be hard on her.

My son Samuel is 21 now. We found out his vision problem when he started driving. Although he drove for a couple of years he does not drive anymore. It was not safe neither for him nor for others. He had few minors accidents but the last one although he did not hurt himself he destroyed the front of the car and decided not to drive anymore. We ive in Orlando. He schedule his work in the morning so that I or his dad can give him a ride. I work just half time and ride him to College in the afternoons. He is very outgoing and has tons of friends who picks him up to go to parties.
Our lives are a bit limited but we got used to. As we are foreigners we know how hard is life for tons of people around the world. For now, I’m happy to drive him and feel plessed that I am not pushing a wheel chair.
Good luck to your daughter, Marilia

I just went thru embolization Oct.!,2009 I have the same problem to the left Am 54 ND HAVE BEEN aiting to get seizures under controll which so far it has done none since but scared that i might not drive they AY SIGHT MIGHT COME BACK SOME WITH TIME

Hi there. When I first had a bleed, I had lost part of the vision on my left and it actually came back for the most part. However, I had no idea how well it would so I did some research and found some great options. So, I would give it time,but you can go to a behavioral opthamologist for visual therapy and do computer sessions. i think video games are a fun way to do it. In the US, the AARP can do a road safety test with people (all ages) to make sure someone is safe to drive. I assume that it is computer simulation, but it may be a live test. So, there’s many therapies you can approach and I wouldn’t worry about it for now. When she gets towards that age, she can do the safety road test ‘just to be sure’.

btw, the visual therapy . was very simple they have a computer screen (looked like old atari type game) and the person just has to notice lights blinking at all corners on the screen. so, just trains your vision. Just be sure to get someone board-certified to make sure they’re trained in it. coverage under insurance may depend on your insurance.

best of luck!!

In the UK you have to declare any such problems to the DVLA if you hold a drivers licence. I went through the same thing and the DVLA medical team (with the assistance of an independent optometrist) declared that my vision was not enough for me to drive a vehicle safely. Therefore they revoked my licence. I too used to walk into things when I was younger, so maybe it is a good thing for me not to drive.
In short it all depends on the rules and regulations of the agency issuing the licence so I would double check with them so that your daughter does not fall fowl of the law.
All the best.


I’ve had the top right peripheral vision lost in my both my eyes. The first doctor I went to for an eye test said legally I can, but I should never drive, because he’s known people in similar conditions die in accidents. My second eye test, the doctor said I should be fine, just try and avoid driving at night (different doctors, and no improvements with the eye test). I have gone for my Ls and have had some lessons, and so far haven’t experienced any problems (though I haven’t done many hours). I’m of course always going to take extra precautions and try to avoid driving at night. Anyway, as you’ve read doctors can seem to have VERY different opinions. It is a very hard decision to make.

Dani was cleared to drive by her neuro-opthamologist. I just don’t think it’s very safe. How can someone with peripheral vision loss use the side mirrors to check for cars overtaking them and see cross traffic?


I found out about my avm about 4 yrs ago. The reason I found out was due to my vision. At first, docs said I had psuedotumor cerebri which was causing my vision loss. Then they found the avm. As the avm is in the left sylvan fissure, there is much debate as to whether the avm or the psuedotumor is the cause of the vision loss. The loss itself started out slowly in just my left peripheral vision. Gradually, I began losing more and more in the left and then in the right. My docs decided I should have an optic nerve sheath fenestration which would relieve the fluid build up in the optic nerves which was the ultimate cause of the vision loss. Unfortunately, the sx caused complete vision loss in the right eye. I can no longer drive at night or in the rain. During the day,when driving, I have learned that I must turn my head anytime I want to do something that involves anything on my right side. I will say that it’s very hard to judge distances when passing other cars or backing up. I think that it has been a little easier for me because I have been driving for almost 20 yrs and am familiar with driving. I have a limited drivers license that does not allow me to drive at night and minimally during the day. I always, always obey this even though the loss of independence has been very difficult. The bottom line is, though, driving is not worth hurting myself or someone else. You should always know what your limits are. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

Irene C said:

The statement, how can anyone use the side mirrors when driving with a field cut, was put forth. They can use the side mirrors, but only if they REMEMBER they are there and turn their head to look at them. I never looked at the side mirror, as I never learned to do so or to remember that the mirror was there. I have a bicycle, which is also dangerous, but hey I have to get places, and I had a mirror mounted on the left handlebar end. I took the bike in for service, and the guy asked me what happened to my mirror. I had not even noticed, and don’t know when it happened, but the mirror so close to me was smashed to pieces but it was invisible to me and I never looked at it.


it is very sad hearing this news, I have been through this too. However I have always felt that I was lucky to discover this when I was young so I could plan my life ahead rather than having to give up a job etc.

Because I have had this option I have planned ahead and moved to a city centre and got a job that does not require driving. I am very happy with where I have got to and sometime think even if I could drive would there be amy need. The only time it was hard was when my friends started to drive, but this was just a short period and my family were very supportive, so try and explain that it really isn’t the end of the world and you also find a lot of people will help you out.

I hope there are more options, but life goes on and not being able to drive has very rarely limited to anything.

All the best