When a driver takes to the road with impaired vision or eye-related diseases, the result can be serious auto accidents that cause permanent debilitating injuries.
When drivers elect to climb behind the wheel with less than optimal vision or decline to wear corrective lenses as required by the Georgia Department of Driver Services, the driver may be considered at-fault for mistakes made because of the driver’s impaired vision.
Drivers are expected to exercise reasonable care to prevent motor vehicle accidents which includes avoiding foreseeable injuries to others. When a driver operates a motor vehicle when his or her sight is compromised, the risk of a collision is significant. Drivers may have their vision impaired by any of the following:
- Age-related decline in vision
- Blurry vision
- Impairment caused by Lasik procedures
- Partial or total blindness resulting from diabetes
- Failure to wear glasses or contact lenses
While sudden dramatic changes in vision may not be foreseeable, most changes in vision and medical conditions that adversely affect eyesight happen over a prolonged period of time. Because these declines occur gradually, drivers are often aware of the changes but fail to avoid driving or to obtain appropriate corrective procedures or glasses. When a driver operates a motor vehicle with impaired vision, the driver may make a wide variety of driving errors, such as:
- Failing to properly judge distance and speed
- Inability to see pedestrians and other road obstructions at night
- Difficulty in noticing and identifying warning signs
- Confusion when trying to read street signs
Some drivers are not aware of the many types of vision that may be impaired, which are vital to safe driving such as the following:
Peripheral View: This refers to the ability to see objects out of the corner of your eye that are situated laterally to the sides of your vehicle. Peripheral vision serves many functions, including the ability to see pedestrians entering intersections at stoplights.
Central View: This type of vision involves your ability to see vehicles, road signs, and hazards in front of your motor vehicle. When central vision is compromised, it may impair a driver’s ability to perceive hazards and accurately judge safe following distance.
Perception of Distance and Depth: One of the most important aspects of driving ability involves properly judging safe following distance and adjusting one’s speed to avoid collisions and road obstructions.
Response to Glare (Night Vision): One side-effect of the Lasik procedure is impaired night vision and glare resistance. This can impair driving ability when faced with bright headlights. In fact, most licensed practitioners that perform a version of the Lasik procedure inform patients that they will have impaired night vision.
When a driver applies for a driver’s license in Georgia, the applicant must have 20/60 vision in one eye and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees. A failed eye exam will necessitate an eye exam by a licensed eye doctor who can certify it is safe for the applicant to drive.
The notion that car accidents are caused by impaired vision is more than a theoretical possibility. A recent study published in US News Health reported that those who suffer with glaucoma are involved in twice as many car accidents as drivers with normal vision. Glaucoma is caused by pressure that builds up on the eye, and it can obstruct peripheral vision and even cause blindness.
If you or someone close to you is injured by a vision-impaired driver or a loved one dies, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries or the loss of a loved one. Our Georgia car crash lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.