Can you drive with multifocal lenses?

Navigating Driving with Multifocal Lenses: A Guide for the Road

For those who rely on multifocal lenses, adapting to their use while in the car presents unique challenges. Multifocal lenses, encompassing bifocals and progressives, are ingeniously designed to correct vision at multiple distances through a single lens. This versatility is invaluable for everyday activities, but does it extend to driving effectiveness? Let’s delve into the considerations and advice for motoring safely with multifocal lenses.


1. The Essence of Multifocal Lenses

  • Diverse Focal Areas: Engineered with distinct sections for reading, intermediate vision, and distance, multifocal lenses necessitate an adjustment period for the wearer to seamlessly shift their gaze between these areas, a critical skill for driving.

2. Adapting to Multifocals

  • Learning Curve: Adapting to multifocal lenses involves a learning phase, where users must become accustomed to navigating the lens sections to suit varying visual demands, crucial for driving activities that require constant focus shifts.

3. Considerations for Peripheral Vision

  • Peripheral Awareness: The segmented nature of multifocal lenses may impact peripheral vision, potentially affecting the ability to perceive vehicles or obstacles on the periphery while concentrating on the road.

4. Mastering Driving with Multifocal Lenses

  • Gradual Familiarisation: It’s advisable to acclimatise to your multifocals in a secure setting before embarking on your journey. This familiarisation aids in mastering the use of different lens parts for varied visual tasks.
  • Ensuring Correct Fit: Guarantee that your glasses are correctly fitted, with lenses accurately aligned to your eyes, as misalignment could distort vision and compromise driving safety.
  • Consultation with Your Optician: If you have reservations about getting in the car with multifocals, a discussion with your optician is recommended. They may suggest specific lens adjustments or designs to enhance your driving vision.

5. Alternative Eyewear

  • Tailored Driving Glasses: An option for some is to have a dedicated pair of glasses for the car, with lenses specifically designed for the visual requirements of driving, should using standard multifocals prove difficult.


Driving with multifocal lenses can be both safe and comfortable with appropriate adaptation and preparation. Familiarising oneself with the lens dynamics, ensuring optimal glasses fit, and seeking professional advice can significantly improve the driving experience. Safety is paramount; if driving with multifocals becomes a concern, exploring alternatives that offer clarity and comfort is advisable.


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