The people with monocular vision in India have been facing a great hurdle in getting a driving license.

The Motor Vehicle Act in India is rather clear to a great lot with respect to allowing the people with monocular vision to drive. I have stated this several times through other posts on this site.

What does the research community say on safe driving for people with monocular vision? Thanks to Kuldeep Joshi, I have come across a few relevant research articles, mostly from the ophthalmologists from the US. Below I provide links to some of such articles.

But before I do that, let me point out a few pointers here. One of the articles, by Oswey and McGin (1999), has the following to say about driving for people with monocular vision:

"The driving performance among drivers with real monocular vision has been assessed in a number of other studies. In a study of 10,000 drivers, Johnson and Keltner reported that drivers with monocular visual field loss had a crash rate equal to that of a control group of drivers with both eyes. Smaller studies by Edwards and Schachat and McKnight et al reported results consistent with these findings. However, not all studies support the conclusion that monocularity does not create a safety problem. From an unmarked police car, Liesmaa observed drivers’ behavior during overtaking another car or entering a road junction. Drivers who were considered dangerous were stopped, and their vision was assessed. A control group of nondangerous drivers was also stopped. The authors reported that there were three times as many one-eyed drivers among the dangerous drivers than among the control drivers. Keeney reported that monocularity was more common among a group of drivers with various driving transgressions than among patients in a general ophthalmologic practice. Based on their review of the literature, Keeney and Garvey concluded that monocular drivers should not be licensed to drive commercial vehicles."

Please note this article was published in 1999 and is based on several case studies.

Some of the take-aways from the articles listed below are as follows:

- Driving with monocular vision is safe with no issue for public safety

- Driving commercial vehicles (like heave trucks) is at best 'controversial' and not prohibitory.

- The functional peripheral vision required for driving is met by all the people having normal vision in at least one eye.


Owsley-McGwin. 1999. Public Health and the Eye
Dobbs. NSTS. 2005. Medical Conditions and Driving - A Review of Literature (1960-2000)
International Council of Ophthalmology. 2006. Vision Requirements for Driving Safety
Ihrig and Schaefer. 2007. Acquired Monocular Vision Rehabilitation program
Catharine Chisholm. 2008. Visual Requirements for Driving
EliPeli. 2008. Driving with low vision-who where when and why
Bron etal. 2010. International vision requirements for driver licensing and disability pensions
Owsley and McGwin. 2010. Vision and Driving