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Personal Injury Law Blog

How does visual impairment affect safe driving ability?

Many drivers in Greenville and elsewhere in South Carolina have some level of visual impairment that makes them risk their own and others’ lives when they take to the roads. In many cases, impaired vision happens gradually, and people may not realize the degree of degeneration in their sight. Several different conditions can affect eyesight.

Visual perception and eye movement

Impaired visual perception affects how drivers’ brains process what they see. It could compromise their ability to look from one thing to another without blurring their vision or distinguishing the background from the foreground. This impairment can challenge drivers to determine where pedestrians, other vehicles and signs are relative to each other and themselves. Impaired eye movement involves problems with control of visual scanning. For example, instead of scanning from side to side, the eyes move randomly in uncontrolled scanning.

Visual acuity, peripheral vision and distance judgment

When visual acuity is impaired, drivers may be unable to identify or discern detail of hazards, road signs or traffic flow changes. Peripheral vision impairment means drivers can see only what is directly ahead and nothing in the areas surrounding the central visual field. Some drivers may also be unable to judge distance, causing problems with following distances, turning too wide and stopping short of an intersection or too far into it.

Night vision and glare resistance and recovery

Drivers with perfect day vision might be unable to see at night, even in low light, because they cannot see objects in low-contrast conditions. Many drivers have no resistance to glare, and when they take longer to recover from the glare, they could strike other vehicles, pedestrians and more.

Unfortunately, many South Carolina motorists fall victim to car accidents caused by drivers with impaired vision. When negligence can be established, the injured crash victims might have viable personal injury claims to file in a civil court in pursuit of damage recovery.