Choosing the right glasses for driving is more than just a fashion choice. Getting it right is a matter of safety for you and your passengers, but thankfully, you can also look great at the same time.
This handy guide will help you navigate the choice available to select your next pair of driving spectacles that tick the boxes of safety, comfort, and style.
At the top of the list is to make sure you have an up-to-date prescription. When was your last visit to the opticians, and are you due a check-up? With changes to our eyesight happening gradually, it’s sometimes difficult to perceive a marked deterioration.
There are a number of lens options available when purchasing your next pair of driving glasses, from gradients to tints to coatings and polarisations.
In Sunny Conditions
If the weather is good and the sun is beating down, whether you’re a prescription lens wearer or not, a reliable pair of prescription sunglasses should be in every driver’s glovebox.
The process of polarization applies a laminated filter to the lens, which only allows light waves in certain directions to pass through. Sunglasses with polarised lenses offer many advantages.
- Reduced glare – Sunglasses are polarised horizontally, which means they can filter out vertical glare caused by the sun reflecting from road surfaces. Normal sunglasses cannot differentiate between vertical light and light in other directions in the same way.
- True color–polarized lenses are, in effect, attenuating the light, resulting in a true-color image with the brightness turned down. Some tinted lenses can be jarring at how distorted they make the world seem and take a period of adjustment, not ideal for a pair of driving specs.
- UVA and UVB protection – polarised lenses also block out harmful ultraviolet light, which is damaging to our eyes, something we should look for in all our sunglasses. This means you’re able to step out of the car and keep the same glasses on for the rest of your day.
- The use of polarized filters on the screens of some smart devices can sometimes make it difficult to view them while wearing polarised sunglass lenses. If you use your phone for directions, this may be something to consider.
Transition or photochromic lenses react to the light, darkening in the sun and becoming lighter in the dark. They can save you money by eliminating the need to purchase a separate pair of prescription sunglasses.
Some windscreens filter out a portion of the light that causes transition lenses to react, so they may be less effective in cars—check with your opticians to find out more.
Driving At Night
Night-time driving brings with it other points to consider. Some eye conditions increase the sensitivity to glare from headlights. An anti-glare or anti-reflective (AR) coating can minimize this.
AR coatings are a thin layer applied to the lenses that allow more light to pass through the lenses and less to be reflected. Especially during deep focus tasks like driving for extended periods, AR coatings reduce eye strain and consequently eye fatigue.
Your choice of frame is largely a matter of style; however, larger frames are recommended for driving to increase your range of peripheral vision. This is true also with sunglasses to reduce the glare coming from your sides.
During long journeys, comfort is an important factor in selecting the right frames. You don’t want to be distracted by the glasses you’re wearing—after putting them on. You should forget you’re even wearing them.
Different designs for supporting the frames on your nose are available. The most common are silicone nose pads. These are adjustable so ask your optician for advice on how to fit them best for your face.
Some plastic frames have molded plastic nose pads which are not adjustable. Be doubly sure these will be comfortable for extended use, especially as after a period of wearing, natural oils from the nose bridge can make these slippery.
Finding the right glasses for driving can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. Hopefully, this list will point you in the right direction on your journey to finding the perfect pair.
Featured Photo by Trevor Buntin on Unsplash