I have nothing against anyone with an impairment of vision or hearing. I couldn’t live in my house if I did. But sometimes safety trumps equal opportunity. One of those circumstances is in the operation of 80,000 pound tractor trailers at 70 mph on public highways. Recently we encountered a situation in which a truck driver who was blind in one eye failed to perceive in time that a vehicle ahead of him was slowing to turn. Binocular vision with depth perception might have helped.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, at 49 C.F.R.§ 391.41 (b)(10), provides:
“A person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle if that person: Has a distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye with or without corrective lenses, or visual acuity separately corrected to 20/40 (Snellen) or better with corrective lenses; and distant binocular acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) in both eyes with or without corrective lenses; and field of vision of at least 70 degrees in the horizontal meridian in each eye . . . .”
The importance of binocular (two eyes) vision for depth perception was recognized long ago. Here is an illustration by Leonardo da Vinci.
My bride for the past 23 years has monocular vision due to nerve damage from a brain tumor years ago. She is a wonderful person and a careful driver, but without normal depth perception it would not be safe for her to drive a tractor trailer on the highway.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a "SuperLawyer" in Atlanta Magazine and one of the "Legal Elite" in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks.