When you are driving a car, good vision is essential to your safety and the safety of those around you. Any marked loss of visual acuity or visual field reduces the ability to safely drive. People who have lost a significant level of vision may not notice another vehicle and/or pedestrians, and they may take longer to perceive and react to a potentially hazardous situation.
Losing one’s driver licence due to significant vision loss can be traumatic and it can lead to feelings of dependence and inadequacy. That makes it important to prepare for a time when you may be unable to drive. You can do this by researching and familiarising yourself with public transport options in your area and, where appropriate, identifying the services you need that are closer to home. Local community organisations may offer transport services that you can access to take you to your nearest shopping centre.
Different States and Territories of Australia have different requirements when it comes to the level of vision required to maintain a driver licence. Consult your local authority or talk to your optometrist to find out the rules that will apply.
People who require lenses to correct their vision may be granted a conditional licence. An ophthalmologist or optometrist may also recommend a conditional licence if a person’s visual acuity or visual fields are just below that required by the standard, but the person is otherwise alert, has normal reaction times and good physical coordination.