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Wearing glasses while driving a hazard?

In 25 years of driving I never even came close to an accident, but in the two years since I had to get glasses to pass the DMV test, it’s occurred to me that I’ve had a bunch of close calls since getting them, mainly not seeing cars in my peripheral vision. Anyone else?

Since my vision isn’t bad, reading things at a distance is the only problem, I really want to take a chance and quit wearing them.

Well my advise is do not do it. Second do not get caught. It is on your license that you need them. Talk to the optician about bad peripheral vision. You might just have a set of glasses that are not right for you. I have had glasses since before i had a license so I got used to how they work. I just wonder if you have an issue with useing them, they are new to you and they are different. I always turn to look twice at least. Its just a habit to me but maybe it would help you.

If you can’t pass the DMV eye test, you DEFINITELY need to wear your glasses while driving…Maybe you need to choose better fitting frames and lenses that don’t block your side vision…

Check into larger lenses and thinner (maybe wire) frames.

Have your doctor check them out and tell him or her about your concerns. Maybe a different style may help out, or maybe those close calls may not have had anything to do with the glasses.

Try adjusting you side mirrors according to this article, peripheral vision wont be as necessary if the mirrors are adjusted correctly.

As we age, our reaction time slows. That might be part of it. Ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist about contact lenses. I don’t have any peripheral vision issues and started wearing contacts regularly at 40.

Oh, and not wearing your glasses is a driving hazard.

I dont wear my glasses in the car. I have a prescription windshield.

“I have a prescription windshield.”

Do all the passengers get a headache trying to use your prescription?

Added the link above

If those close calls were at stop signs, you have to turn your head to help with the blind spot that cancels out peripheral vision. The crossing traffic can hide really well. Roof pillars and bad habits do interfere with your vision but with spectacles you should turn and look.

I normally wear contacts, but I have to drive home with my glasses after an eye exam where they use those numbing drops. I do notice that I don’t have as much peripheral vision with my glasses. In fact, I’d be a little nervous doing that in heavy traffic, but luckily we don’t have that around here.

I didn’t start wearing glasses until I was 45 (reading only). Then when I reached 50 I needed them for distance too. Didn’t see the need to get contacts.

Never had a problem with them. Most of my driving during the day I wear prescription sunglasses. They curve around the eyes a little for side protection. The whole lens is full prescription. Might want to look into glasses like that.

Alternative theory: Before you got glasses, you were too blind to see all the times you had close calls.

I agree that glasses drasticly change your viewing abilities.

I, too , have part time glasses in the truck for distance and night sign reading.
I do not wear them daily around town where I don’t need to read distant signs.
They are a god send in unfamiliar cities when I’m needing to know a lane change in advance.
The last time I was stopped by the po-po she didn’t even wonder that my license said glasses.

They seem to direct your focus and attention in a narrow manner that really negates your habitual pereipheral awareness…I hate that too.

It truly is a matter of practice to get used to the new functions of driving while spectacled.
practice, practice. practice.

That adjustment seemed like a pain in the butt until my wife lost the vision in her right eye and had to re-learn EVERYTHING about driving she ever new and had long since commited to habbit.
– immagine if you will. have NO right side peripheral vision ! ( close your right eye and try to drive in close-quarters downtown traffic. )
Soon my ‘‘problem’’ seemed quide piddly when helping her cope and adjust.


I think JT suggested the best solution; contact lenses.
However I’d like to suggest that you get in the habit of actively checking to be sure the lane next to you is clear BEFORE beginning to change lanes. Turning your head, using convex “fisheye” mirrors, whatever you need for a solution you’ll come up with IF you never change lanes until you’re sure the lane is clear.

In short, what you need is to get in the habit of checking FIRST. Do that and everything else will take care of itself.

For me, it all depends on the frames for my glasses.

I bought a nice expensive pair of sunglasses the last time I got a new prescription. The first time I wore them while driving, I discovered the frames blocked my ability to see to the side when I looked over my shoulder.

You need to talk to your eye doctor, tell her/him the problem you are having, and find a way to either get lenses that wrap around to the side, or get eyeglass frames that are open at the sides.

Yes, wearing glasses can obstruct your peripheral vision. But you take a step in the right direction by first recognizing it and second, heeding the good advise here and scanning more while correctly adjusting and using your mirrors.

We need wrap-around glasses just like the wrap-around windshield I had on my 1954 Buick.

The problem with wrap the around lens is distortion. For the driver/wearer, it’s not worth it for any peripheral vision gain. The macular is he part of the retina that generates the most clarity and it’s not worth introducing visual distortion when visual acuity gain on the sides is minimal.