Sunglasses may seem like the last thing you think about in the winter months, but as research has shown time and time again, that UVA and UVB protection for our eyes is just as important in the colder season as it is in the summer. And in addition to protecting our eyes from sun damage, wearing sunglasses can help to make us better drivers, creating a safer environment for everyone on the roads.
Understandably, there has been much confusion about finding the right sunglasses for driving so the AA has sought advice from The Federation of Manufacturing Opticians. Their findings detail that the best sunglasses for motorists should provide clarity of vision (reduce glare, improve contrast, whilst letting in enough light at all times) and the best lenses to consider are variable tint or photochromic lenses – lenses which adapt darkness according to the levels of light in your environment.
For more help on choosing the right sunglasses, see our recent blog post, ‘The Ultimate Guide to Sunglasses: Buying the Right UV Lenses and More‘. Or if you’re still unsure about whether you need to buy a pair of winter shades, read on for the top 3 reasons why sunglasses are essential for driving in winter.
1. Low Sun Causes Glare
During the winter, the sun is lower in the sky in Britain. This means that the sun’s rays will hit the earth at an angle, causing light to spread out over a larger surface area and also causing glare.
For prescription eyewear, it is recommended to choose an anti-reflective coating when you order your lenses. And it is also recommended to consider mirror or flash lenses, such as the Ray-Ban RB3016 Clubmaster sunglasses, which have been designed to greatly reduce glare.
2. Snow Causes Light Reflection
If you’re driving around a ski resort or the UK experiences heavy snowfall, it really is important to have some spare shades in the car. White landscapes are prime condition for bouncing light around and this can make it extremely bright for drivers without sunglasses.
In these conditions, it’s important to choose a lens tint that is designed for extreme brightness. But remember, some sunglasses sold for general use can be too dark for driving, so choose variable lenses for absolute safety. These Drivewear DW1 unisex shades boast photochromic technology and are prescription ready too.
3. Light Conditions Are Always Changing
In winter, the light conditions are always changing so the need for sunglasses is more important than ever. Keeping a spare pair of shades in the car will come in handy whether you are driving in the UK or abroad. Transition lenses are the best, as recommended by the AA, as they will adapt to the lighting outside.
For photochromic sunglasses that are versatile for both alpine driving and winter sports, go for these Cebe Cinetik (Med Fit) sunglasses, designed with a wraparound frame to shield your eyes from light at all angles.
For the most responsive photochromic tint when driving try the Transitions Xtractive tint which reacts even more effectively behind the UV filter within your windscreen.