Tell us about your symptoms and treatment experience. Take our survey here.

A person with a guilty face driving a car in the dark.

Driving Blind

My good buddy Jodi took me to Wills Eye Hospital in Philly Tuesday. No worries. It was a good thing and, even though I have not written that page yet, I suspect it will predate this one on MacularDegeneration.net. Anyway, we were supposed to park in their lot.

Wills apparently does great business. (Second best in the nation after Bascom-Palmer in Miami.) There were no parking spaces open.On the fourth level, we finally saw brake lights come on. Jodi decided to stop and wait for the space. We waited as an apparently rather elderly woman started inching out of the spot. Straight across into the car on the other side.

When things went wrong

Wham! Seemingly nonplussed, the woman pulled forward and tried again. Wham!! And let’s do that 2 more times. Wham!!! Wham!!! OMG. Jodi, I, and what seemed like 27 other drivers waiting to somehow get through that place in the parking garage were amazed... and appalled.

I got my phone out to try to get a photo of her license plate – like I would really be able to see it and write it down. Ha! LMAO – but I was not fast enough. I was also too busy dodging cars that seemed hellbent on running over my toes. I happen to LIKE my toes! They go well with my feet. Finally reaching the elevator, I came to a conclusion. Who drives in the parking garage of a larger eye hospital? Blind people; that’s who!

My decision to stop driving

As a person who values life and bodily integrity – including my own – I stopped driving as soon as I realized I was legally blind. I cannot quite figure out how or why people continue to drive. And this was brought home even more intently when it dawned upon me that woman had had to drive into Center City Philadelphia to get to Wills. And THAT is freakin’ SCARY!

I guess all of this begs an answer to this question: when is it time to hang it up? When you run into the same car 4 – count them, 4! – times? When I have to dance to keep you from running over my toes? How about when you kill someone?

The United States Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that in 2020, 17% of all traffic fatalities were 65 years or older. That was 6,549 older folks dead in traffic accidents. 2020 statistics from the Federal Highway Administration reported that 29% of all drivers are considered seniors and 67% are involved in accidents.1,2

Get my point?

How do you know when to quit?

So how do we know when to quit? Or, if not quit outright, at least curtail our driving?

Back to the first article, NHTSA made a few suggestions. Have you or someone close to you noticed changes in your vision or physical fitness? How about your attention or your reaction time? If you are seeing changes, it might be a good idea to limit your driving. Make a medical appointment and have yourself checked-out. You might even avail yourself of a driver’s safety course for us “mature” folks.1

Give it a thought. I have survived 7 years without driving and still live a relatively full life. And if you do decide you have reason to stop driving? Quit!

If you do quit, that other car’s bumper will thank you. I will thank you and, finally, MY TOES. THANK YOU! They really go well with my feet.

Be safe!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MacularDegeneration.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Have you introduced yourself to the community yet?