What type of lenses are best for driving?
Hi-4 polarized sunglasses have Nu Polar lenses recognised as the best performers for optical clarity and contrast
For daytime driving in conditions where strong glare is a problem, the lenses should be polarized. The polarization filter dramatically reduces the glare from low angle sun (and from reflected light from the road surface which is especially a problem when wet or icy).
For daytime driving in bright sunlight, it is best to go for a filter category 2 polarized lens (light transmission in the range 18 to 43%).
For driving in low light, such as misty conditions, or where spray affects visibility, your vision can be enhanced by yellow high definition lenses (filter category 1).
Look at the specification of the lenses – go for quality sunglasses that are optically correct, otherwise your vision may be impaired and you could suffer headaches if you wear them for extended periods.
What are night driving glasses?
Beware of using tinted sunglasses to drive at night! Many shops that offer so called night driving lenses are actually referring to yellow light enhancing lenses and the filter in these will only enhance your vision in daylight. Driving with a tint at night will reduce your visual accuity and can be dangerous. It is not recommended by leading motoring organisations.
Sunglasses that give peripheral protection
The wraparound frame on the Z-001 protects your eyes from peripheral glare while maintaining excellent all round visibility
When the sun’s angle is low and to one side, many drivers find that sunglasses with a flat profile that don’t wrap around the sides tend to let in glare at the sides, which can then reflect on the back of the lens, causing difficulty seeing, and headaches.
If you find peripheral glare a problem, look for wraparound styles with lenses that curve round the sides of your eye region as they can help to stop excessive light from entering the side of your eyes.
Are photochromic lenses suitable for driving?
Most photochromic (light-reactive) lenses react to UV light and their function will be severely impaired when you are behind a windscreen so they are best avoided for driving.
Sunglasses with interchangeable lenses
Some sport sunglasses come with a series of interchangeable lenses with different levels of tint and, if you don’t mind a certain amount of lens changing, you can select an appropriate level of filter depending on the light conditions.
Sunglasses that keep out dust or sand
If you are driving an open top vehicle in dusty or sandy conditions, or if you suffer from dry eyes when the air conditioning is on in your car, look for moisture chamber sunglasses that have a foam seal to reduce evaporation of tears.
BodySpecs sunglasses have a removable foam gasket that keeps dust and debris out of your eyes – important if you are driving in dusty conditions, particularly in an open top vehicle.
The foam gasket is also helpful for reducing the rate at which your eyes dry out, which can be beneficial for dry eye sufferers or people who wear contact lenses to drive. This style of eyewear with a foam eye seal is favoured by kit car drivers and motorcyclists.
Last but not least – ensure the sunglasses are a comfortable fit!
Finally, of course, find a pair of sunglasses that fit your head well and will be light and comfortable for wearing for extended periods.
What if I need prescription lenses to drive?
This man is wearing Solarclips clip on sunglasses for driving
Obtaining prescription sunglasses with the right specification polarized lenses can be a costly exercise, probably setting you back several hundreds of pounds for a decent pair.
Unless they are going to be suitable for everyday use, it also means that your eyes need to adjust to wearing a different pair of prescription frames, which may not be ideal just before driving! Also, you will end up with having to carry around two separate sets of prescription glasses, which is inconvenient!
A much more cost-effective and flexible option that means you don’t have to adjust your eyes to a different set of prescription frames, is to get a quality pair of polarized clip on sunglasses, such as those in the Solarclips range. In particular, copper filter category 2 clip on sunglasses are ideal for driving.
The polarization filter in the copper lenses significantly reduces glare in bright sunny conditions, yet the lenses are not too dark when the sun goes in or you drive through a wooded area.
Stylish Solarclips clip on sunglasses with copper polarized lenses
These lenses have been developed also to enhance colour contrast, depth perception and detail recognition in medium to low light conditions, reducing squinting and resulting eye strain.