Which is the Best Sunglasses For Driving

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Many drivers don't realize it, but some styles of sunglasses are inappropriate to wear while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Some sunglasses do not allow enough light to enter the eyes, which impairs visibility, while others may have a specific lens color that negatively affects the spectrum and contrast of distinguishable colors for the driver. 

Which is the Best Sunglasses For Driving
Which is the Best Sunglasses For Driving

 

This guide discusses these and all other factors to ensure that the sunglasses you choose do not increase your risk of road accidents. 

It includes guidance on frame and lens styles, color density, coatings and safety markings.

Which is the Best Sunglasses For Driving

Frame style 

When you're choosing your eyeglass frames, it's important that you can see clearly from all angles. While large-framed glasses are more aesthetically pleasing, they can hinder your peripheral vision. Wrap around glasses are great for blocking the sun and do a good job of allowing you to see from all angles. Otherwise, you may create unwanted blind spots for yourself.  

Sunglass lens coatings 

The more expensive the sunglasses, the more likely they are to have multiple layers of coating. These may include a hydrophobic coating to repel water, an anti-scratch coating to improve durability, and an anti-fog coating for humid conditions or high-energy activities. 

Mirrored or flash coating refers to the reflective film applied to the outer surface of some sunglass lenses. They reduce glare by reflecting much of the light that hits the lens surface. Mirrored coatings make objects appear darker than they are, so lighter shades are used to compensate. 

Sunglasses Lens Features Photochromic lenses: 

Photochromic lenses automatically adapt to changing light intensity and conditions. These lenses darken on really bright days and fade when conditions get darker. 

Polarized Lenses: 

Glares can put a lot of strain on your eyes and can be a major distraction while driving. Polarized sunglasses are specially designed to reduce glare and improve vision. Whether it's a sunny day or foggy conditions, a special chemical film on polarized lenses is ideal because it reduces glare and reflections caused by wet surfaces. It also enhances contrast which helps you in safer driving. Polarized lenses allow only vertical light to enter the eye which is useful for driving.  

Interchangeable Lenses: 

Some sunglass styles come with interchangeable (removable) lenses in different colors. These multi-lens systems allow you to tailor your eye protection to your activities and conditions. Consider this option if you want reliable performance in a variety of conditions.  

A few caveats:  

the photochromic process takes longer to work in cold conditions and doesn't work at all when driving because UVB rays don't penetrate your windshield.  

Lens color 

Lenses of different colors affect how much visible light can reach the eye, how well a person can see certain colors, and the resulting degree of visual contrast. As such, choosing the wrong colored lenses can negatively affect how well a driver can see road signs and traffic lights and spot potential hazards. Scientific research suggests that pink, blue, and green lenses should not be worn while driving in general because they can distinguish red lights. 

Sunglasses in these tints labeled as safe for driving are the exception – the intensity of the featured lens color can make a significant difference in terms of safety. The best lenses for driving sunglasses are gray and brown (with polarization) because they are color-neutral, meaning they don't change how colors appear when worn. Many sunglasses designed specifically for drivers also have yellow and amber-toned lenses, which can help increase contrast and definition.  

Tint density 

Sunglass lens color (tint) Lens colors affect how much visible light reaches your eyes, how well you see other colors, and how well you see contrast. Dark colors (brown/grey/green) are ideal for everyday use and most outdoor activities. Darker shades are primarily intended to reduce glare and create a medium-to-high-light effect. 

Light colors (yellow/gold/amber/rose/vermilion): 

These colors are best in medium to low-level light conditions. They are usually great for skiing, snowboarding and other snow sports. They provide excellent depth perception, increase contrast in difficult, flat-light situations, improve object visibility, and brighten your surroundings.

Regardless of which (safe!) color lens you choose, tint density is another important consideration. Color density is rated on a class scale of 0 (clear) to 4 (very dark) and is the most important factor in determining how much light can reach the wearer's eyes. 

Two identical pairs of sunglasses with gray lenses, for example, will not block the same level of light if they have different density ratings. By law, all sunglasses must be marked with their applicable density number. The chart below illustrates the best use for each level of tint density:  

Sunglasses Lens Materials 

The material used in your sunglass lenses will affect their clarity, weight, durability and cost. The glass offers excellent optical clarity and excellent scratch-resistance

However, it is heavier and more expensive than other materials. The glass will "spider" (but not chip or shatter) upon impact. Polyurethane provides excellent impact-resistance and excellent optical clarity. It is flexible and lightweight, but expensive. 

Polycarbonate has excellent impact-resistance and very good optical clarity. It is affordable, light and lightweight, but less scratch-resistant. Acrylic is a cheaper alternative to polycarbonate, best suited for casual or occasional sunglasses. It is less durable and optically clear than polycarbonate or glass and has some image distortion.  

Why wear sunglasses while driving? 

First, we must explain why it is important to wear sunglasses while driving. They protect your eyes from UV rays and can improve the clarity of your surroundings if you choose the right pair. This, in turn, can help prevent accidents caused by poor visibility. 

If you find yourself squinting to protect your eyes on a bright day, wearing sunglasses will help reduce the amount of light entering your eyes and reduce the need to squint. This is very beneficial when driving as squinting limits your vision and can cause headaches.  

What to avoid while choosing driving sunglasses?  

No thick frames  

Thick frames block your peripheral vision which can hinder your vision while driving. This can be really dangerous, so it is wise to avoid thick frames.  

Avoid lens tint 

It may be fashionable but it is best to avoid lens tints such as pink, green or blue as some colors, especially red, become difficult to distinguish. Identifying traffic lights can be a big problem. Also, avoid dark colored lens tints while driving.

Also Read : 6 Best Sunglasses For Driving in India

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