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Driving with Bioptics

Bioptic telescopes can help eligible visually impaired individuals obtain a driver’s license.

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How do bioptics help driving?

The challenge that visually impaired drivers encounter is that they must get so close to a sign or signal to see it that there is insufficient time for them to make the appropriate driving adjustments. The bioptic telescope allows them to see the target sooner, giving the driver more time to react. Drivers using bioptics look through their regular eyeglass lenses most of the time, and only sight through the telescope for short periods of time similar to the use of the car’s rear and side-view mirrors

A simulation demonstrating how bioptics can help a driver see highway signs sooner, showing the different size of the field of view between Galilean and Keplerian 3x bioptic telescopes.

Highway Sign normal e1613426768373

Highway sign with normal vision

Highway Sign blurred e1613426808682

Highway sign with 20/100 (6/30) vision (simulated)

Highway Sign 3x Galilean

Highway sign using 3x Galilean Bioptic (simulated)

Highway Sign 3x Keplerian

Highway sign using 3x Keplerian Bioptic (simulated)

How do bioptics help driving?

Download our general information page about bioptic driving

Download The General Driving Information Page

Legal issues about driving with bioptics

Each state Motor Vehicle Agency has its own rules and regulations regarding bioptic driving. Click here for a list of bioptic driving regulations by state. You should consult your low vision specialist and your state’s DMV to determine the requirements for obtaining a bioptic driver’s license where you live. Decisions regarding driving with bioptics rest solely with the licensing agency, the prescriber and the user. Ocutech makes no claims regarding the fitness of any of its devices or the fitness of any individual for driving using bioptic devices.

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Research studies confirm that bioptics help driving.

Our study suggests that the vast majority of bioptic drivers find the bioptic telescope useful as an assistive device in a range of driving tasks. Read the full paper

– Owsley, C. et al., Visually Impaired Drivers Who Use Bioptic Telescopes (abrev.), Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Jan 2014; 55 (1)

The majority (74%) rated the bioptic telescope as very helpful, and almost all (90%) would continue to use it for driving, even if it were not required for driving licensure. Read the full paper.

– Bowers AR, Apfelbaum DH, Peli E., Bioptic Telescopes Meet the Needs of Drivers with Moderate Visual Acuity Loss, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2005 Jan;46(1)

This study found no evidence that bioptic drivers were more prone to collisions than healthy drivers. Read the full paper.

– Moharrer,M. et al, Evaluation of the Driving Safety of Visually Impaired Bioptic Drivers Based on Critical Events in Naturalistic Driving,, 2020

Find out about bioptic driving in your state.

Regulations regarding bioptic driving vary between states. For a list of driving regulations by state click the link below.

Click Here To VIEW Or DOWNLOAD A PDF Of Bioptic Driving Laws By Individual State.
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