Driving Safely With an Eye Patch

I have to wear an eye patch over my right eye for some indefinite period. It is legal in my state to do this. I would appreciate any suggestions as to how to continue to drive safely (new car accessories - e.g. special mirrors; practicing driving like this, etc.) as well as any experience people have with having to drive like this.

I have been in your situation. Played “pirate” for a week with an eye patch.

You no longer have any depth perception so; Give yourself extra space in every maneuver. Leave more following distance, if you see a brake light ON in front of you be off the gas and hover over the brake. If in doubt, lightly apply the brake so you are already slowing.

I might suggest convex spot mirrors added to your normal mirrors but that may confuse you since you didn’t drive with them before.

Act like you did learning to drive. Find an empty parking lot and practice putting the car into a painted space. When you can do that accurately, drive around slow residential neighborhoods to get used to nearby parked cars, especially if the right eye is covered.


I worked with a guy whose father lost an eye as a child. The spring on a gate broke and “put his eye out”. One of the kids would call “shotgun” and act as a spotter on his right side. It may help to have a passenger helping you at least for a while.
I don’t know if a wider inside rear view mirror would help, but it’s worth considering. Google “driving with one eye”; there might be tips.

In addition to depth perception, OP will have lost a significant amount of peripheral vision; and should consciously work on his “scan” while driving.


I lost my right eye in a car accident 41 years ago. Well, they said I lost it. Hey, I came in here with both eyes and was unconscious the whole time so don’t try to pin this on me :smile:

It helps if you can emulate an owl. Neck flexibility helps because I only trust my mirrors so much. Twist your torso to help provide enough range of motion if you have to. Just try to drive normally and check twice before moving over or turning. Especially for pedestrians…

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Some people can make the transition and some can’t. If the situation is temporary, I’d just avoid driving until the patch comes off. If the situation becomes permanent, give your brain time to adjust to the new normal. You might find you’re able to adjust and can still perceive depth, but if you can’t, you’re going to want to avoid driving.

I know a professor who lets her husband do all the driving because she can’t see out of one eye. I also know people who make the adjustment, like @TwinTurbo here.