Many motorists love night driving. But, unfortunately, driving in the dark has its drawbacks, and the main one is poor visibility. Lack of light and the blinding lights of oncoming cars cause a concern among drivers, and it might potentially contribute to road accidents.
Fortunately, there are special glasses for night driving – anti-glare glasses. How to choose this type of accessory and make the process of night driving more comfortable?
We’ve prepared a comprehensive Buyer’s guide. After reading it, we also recommend reading the reviews on the best night driving glasses on LiamsCar.com.
Start with a visit to your ophthalmologist
Before going to the store for your new “anti-glares”, you should visit your ophthalmologist. Quite often, poor visibility at night and in the evening is dictated not only by the environmental conditions, but also by the individual’s visual acuity. Therefore, the process of choosing glasses should start with an eye exam.
According to statistics, the drivers that have a hundred percent vision do not need anti-glare glasses, while having poor eyesight will definitely make you want to purchase protection for your eyes.
If the eye exam shows that the driver’s eyesight is not perfect enough, a question of purchasing protective driving glasses with diopters comes up. Thus, a timely visit to a doctor will not only save your health, but also save you some money.
Traditionally, they consider the best the lens that is made of glass. And it is true: glass is a transparent material that transmits light perfectly. But in a car accident, upon colliding with an airbag, glass lenses will surely brake into pieces and injure the driver’s face.
As a result, cuts on the face, or, worst case scenario, an eye injury. Therefore, for driving they recommend choosing glasses with plastic lenses.
UV protection for your eyes
When choosing anti-glare glasses, pay attention to the “100% UV-Protection” label. This label indicates that these lenses provide one hundred percent protection against ultraviolet radiation.
The main condition for glasses designed for driving is a polarized lens. Glass polarization eliminates glare from the windshield, wet pavement, and other cars on the road.
Glass polarization does not affect visual acuity, but with such glasses the driver acquires reliable protection against glare: the retina does not suffer from burns, and after being blinded by the headlights of oncoming cars, your eyes recover pretty quickly.
Two ways to check whether the lens is polarized:
Using a cell phone. If you look at the phone display through a lens and then turn it by 90 degrees, the display you will see through the lens should become darker.
Using the second pair of similar glasses. If you look through two lenses and then turn one of them by 90 degrees, the image in front of you should get darker. The darker the visible image, the stronger the protection of the polarized glass.
The undoubted advantage of polarized glasses for driving at night is that they do not hide colors and remain transparent for the entire visible spectrum.
Speaking of polarized lenses: I should debunk one popular myth about these lenses supposedly being able to improve vision. It is not true. Polarized lenses do not affect visual acuity: it is lenses with diopters that are designed for that. By the way, if the driver’s vision needs to be corrected, it is possible to order polarized lenses with diopters, which will solve two problems at once: restore visual acuity and save the driver from glares on the road.
Modern glasses-anti-glares are available with different tint options:
Initially, the manufacturers used to offer the motorists the glasses with yellow tinted lenses. Their purpose was to eliminate the blue color spectrum, thereby making the “picture” richer in contrast and also reducing the degree of glare from headlights of oncoming cars.
Yellow tinted lenses are still popular among drivers, as they block out the glare from the headlights of oncoming cars. But for driving at night, these glasses are not the right fit: when it is completely dark outside, yellow tint will “eat” blurry outlines of the objects. According to ophthalmologists, yellow and orange colors ultimately change color perception, eliminating the blue part of the color spectrum, which is fundamental for normal navigation at night. The use of yellow “anti-glares” at night might aggravate rather than facilitate the driving conditions.
“Anti-glares” with yellow lenses are successfully used in the evening. They are also suitable for wearing in foggy or rainy weather, when elimination of the blue spectrum does not have such a detrimental effect on the overall “picture” before the driver’s eyes, but, on the contrary, it increases the clarity of perception and contrast of the “picture”.
As for brown tint for night driving glasses, of course, it is not as strong as in the case with sunglasses. This tint is different: it significantly enhances the comfort of vision. Brown lens allows you to see the colors with minimal distortion. They are better suited for night driving – when the contrast and dimming of the lights from oncoming traffic are important.
Other color shades can also be used for glasses designed for driving. They recommend choosing the color tint in accordance with personal preferences. Do not forget that the best tint at night is NO tint at all, because any tint coating is bound to dim poor lighting even more.
Modern manufacturers offer drivers the glasses with interchangeable lenses. Such models allow drivers to use several types of “anti-glares”, depending on the conditions in which the driver is traveling.
“Anti-glares” with interchangeable lenses are more expensive than the regular glasses, but if a car enthusiast wants to purchase several types of glasses for different driving conditions, a pair of good glasses with interchangeable lenses will cost less than a few pairs of high-quality glasses.
For driver’s glasses, light transmission is an extremely important feature. If the glasses are completely transparent, they will not dim the light of the headlights of the oncoming vehicle and will not let your eyes adapt on time. But heavily tinted glasses cannot be used either – the driver will hardly see anything in the evening.
There is an international ISO standard, according to which the light transmission of lenses for driving glasses must be greater than or equal to 75% of transmission of the visible color spectrum. This information must be specified by the manufacturer in the documents for glasses.
Not the most critical, but a convenient option – a gradient tint. The upper part of the glasses can look mirror-like, and the bottom – almost transparent. It provides protection from glare, but at the same time it does not interfere with your ability to see the data on the dashboard of the car.
As in the case with selecting ordinary glasses: choose the frame that does not compress temples and the nasal bridge, and it should be pretty light. But there are other criteria.
Out of 120 degrees of human vision, 90 degrees is central vision, and other 30 – a considerable part – is peripheral vision. Remember that when driving a vehicle at a high speed, the driver’s visual angle reduces to 50 degrees, and peripheral vision accounts for a larger percent of the total visual angle.
So, it is better to choose anti-glare glasses with narrow arms that block the side view at a minimum. The less the driver turns his head to the sides – thus distracting himself from driving in order to look at something in the peripheral visual field – the safer it is to drive in a car stream.
Quality glasses for drivers have a 130-140 degree field vision. It is worth paying attention to the models without side arms – they provide for better side vision.
When purchasing glasses for driving, you should choose models that have a protective coating that protects the lenses from minor scratches and damage. Even if you care for glasses in accordance with the instructions, in the case, constant moves of the car cause appearance of scuff marks on the lenses. Protection against scratches will keep “anti-glares” safe longer.
It is worth paying attention to the warranty provided by the manufacturer. Quality glasses, as a rule, have a two-year warranty, at least. If these are the glasses with interchangeable lenses, the warranty for such lenses is two years, and five years – for the nylon frame.
A general recommendation for those who want to buy a driving glasses – beware of counterfeit goods! Whatever glasses you choose, the main thing is their quality and full compliance with the characteristics stated in the documentation that comes with the glasses.