If you're ever in the unfortunate circumstance of having to remove an eye, can you legally drive a car in Iowa?

Any major change to your vision would surely send you through a roller coaster of emotions, especially sudden unexpected changes. Shock, anger, sadness, and frustration all come to mind if I ever lost an eye unexpectedly. If there's emergency surgery, an infection, a tumor, bleeding, etc, you may not have much choice when it comes to keeping an eye that is damaged or causing you dangerous bodily harm.

Hopefully, this never happens to you but if you ever become a person with monocular vision, can you still legally drive a car?

Unsplash - Ioana Casapu
Unsplash - Ioana Casapu

Is it Legal?

The good news is that the freedom and independence that comes with being able to drive will not be lost if you lose an eye. It is not illegal for someone to drive if they only have one eye, according to Tom Fowler Law. There may be a few steps you have to go through however before you're cleared to drive.

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You will be required to take an eye exam and get a recommendation from your healthcare provider, which makes sense. It would be insane to have some kind of major eye surgery and then jump in a car going 70 mph on Highway 20...without making sure you can safely do so. You may also have to reinstate your license as well.

You may also need to set up a rear vision mirror on the same side you lost the eye. This likely won't be a requirement but it may be recommended.

Monocular Vision

Some of the biggest challenges someone with monocular vision may face are field of view and depth perception. If you only have 1 eye or can only see out of 1 eye, it can be tough to adjust how 'wide' you can see. Depth or 'how far/close' things are also can be an adjustment for people.

What are two of the most important things to pay attention to while driving? The cars that are around you as well as the cars in front of and behind you. Slowing down and stopping can be a challenge, parking can be impacted, and being able to see cars in the lanes next to you may require big adjustments.

Driving with one eye may be difficult at first and it can take a lot of practice but the good news is that if this does happen to you, you won't legally lose the freedom of being able to hit the open road.

*Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice* 

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