Legal blindness can be compatible with safe driving

Ophthalmology. 1989 Oct;96(10):1457-9. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(89)32704-7.


The objective of the study is to present evidence that some people with 20/200 visual acuity and a field of vision greater than 120 degrees can drive safely in the daytime at a speed of not more than 40 mph. Eight individuals with 20/200 visual acuity (legally blind) were tested for the distance at which they could recognize six traffic symbols. The study was done to see whether a person with 20/200 visual acuity could recognize symbols at a distance great enough to stop safely. Subjects recognized the symbols at a distance, determined by the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads, within which a vehicle traveling 40 mph could stop safely.

MeSH terms

  • Automobile Driving* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Blindness*
  • Humans
  • Location Directories and Signs
  • United States
  • Visual Acuity