Prescription Glasses & Trucking

Topic 30788 | Page 1

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WombDweller's Comment
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I have spoken to eye dr's that have never driven a truck about concerns with getting my first pair of trifocals, or progressive lenses as I am to understand they are called.

I tried to explain my concerns that I need distance clarity due to the extremely long distance to slow or stop a rig.

I tried to explain that I need to look at many gauges every few seconds and how I can wait for eyes to adjust.

I tried to explain how I need to be able to look in to several different styles of side mirrors for backing and depth perception to manuever 53' trailer within an inch of objects was critical.

Everyone "Professional" I spoke to for reassurance that trifocal progressive lenses will be safe for trucking was giving me plausable denieability answers. "Practice at home first". "Take it slow". "If things don't seem right then come back to us". Clearly these folks have no clue what we as truckers do, and once our 80K missles are hurdling down the interstate , the last thing the motoring public needs is a driver becoming aware there is delay time with his/her glasses focusing.

With that explained, I would like to get some "Professional driver" input from drivers that use trifocal progressive glasses. Are they safe, do they in anyway impede the ability to make critical decisions when driving. Is backing perception affected?

Thanks to those that respond in advance!


Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
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You may not like this answer, but it depends on the individual and how your eyes adjust to progressive lenses. I have worn progressive lenses and loved them. They never hindered my driving career. I have a friend who claimed they made him feel drunk all the time. I asked my eye doctor about my friends experience and he told me that was a common complaint. Apparently some people just do better with traditional tri-focals. I had no problems with the progressive lenses. My eyes adapted to them and I learned very quickly how to tilt my head just right to get the vision I was needing for the various things like reading gauges and seeing long distances. I think that is why they told you to...

"Practice at home first". "Take it slow". "If things don't seem right then come back to us".

Using progressive lenses seems to work for some folks and not for others. It is amazing how much our vision is affected by our brain. I am suffering some vision issues unrelated to this discussion, but my brain takes over at times and makes my good eye be the dominant vision that I experience. It is completely different from the way things used to work for me. I have always had a strong dominant right eye, but now that my right eye is damaged my brain reads the signals from my left eye. That is pretty much what I see even though my right eye's vision is very poor. I think the same kind of thing goes on when people transition to progressive lenses. For some of us the brain makes an easy transition of it, while others suffer through a time of adjustment.

The progressive lenses are expensive. I loved them when I was wearing them. Others hate them and can't seem to adjust to them. I actually had no problems or issues. My eyes and brain took to them like they were old friends and it all worked very well for me.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

I havent done it with eyeglasses yet, but I tried progressive contact lenses for a while. I really disliked the sacrifice in long range sight with them. The doctor told me there is always a sacrifice of both, It was unacceptable to me. They were really difficult at night as well. I tried to get her to bump up the power for long range, but she said she couldnt. I ultimately went back to standard torric contact lenses (In addition to being myopic, I have a stigmatism). They are pretty good at gauges and small items up close but I have to have readers for paperwork etc. Not everyone wants to wear contact lenses though, they are difficult to put in and take out, and they do make your eyes less sensitive to dust while being worn, but at the same time, if you do get something in your eye, its far more agitating and critical than it is without them on. Ive tried bi focals and just cant do em. They make me dizzy. Im guessing the progressives would be the same.

PackRat's Comment
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I wear progressive bifocals ever since I began driving. These have been normal lenses, Transition lenses, and dark , polarized sunglasses. I have never had any problems.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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I don't know if mine are bi or tri. The only problems I have is when it rains, my glasses get wet when I get out of the truck.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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At 68 I still can pass the DOT exam without glasses. I don't have the eyeglass restriction on my CDL but I have prescription glasses that I use at my discretion. I prefer the "keep it simple" method. My glasses are single vision, only for distance vision as I think it helps, much like you would use binoculars for specific situations but not all the time.

For reading, I definitely use non-prescription glasses for the close ups.

My mother is 92 and still doesn't use glasses. She drinks straight from the bottle. LOL


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

Let us know how you adjust to progressives. Last February I got new glasses and decided against progressives bc my nearsightedness was not that bad. 2 months after that I couldn't see a thing clearly up close. It came on hard and fast. It's a struggle to see my phone now without taking my glasses off.

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