Sunglasses are essential gear for drivers, but choosing which ones to buy requires more careful consideration than you might think.
In Part 1 of this guide, we looked at how style and size, lens colour, and tint density affect the suitability of your sunglasses for driving.
Now it’s time to look at considerations around light sensitive lenses, graduated lenses and lens coatings.
When we’re done you’ll be well equipped to find your perfect on-the-road pair.
Light Sensitive Sunglasses
Photochromic, or light sensitive lenses are popular because the tint density adjusts depending on how much UV light exposure they receive.
Meaning you always have the correct tint for the conditions.
However, photochromic lenses and driving are no dream team.
In fact, driving with standard light sensitive glasses can be very dangerous.
This is because the windscreen can block up to 40% of UV light, which adjusts the speed at which the lenses change shade.
The tint density of the lenses might be inappropriate for the conditions at any one time (they could be too light or too dark).
So AVOID light sensitive/photochromic sunglasses if you are driving.
There are, however, adapted lenses that are safe when you’re on the road – these include Transitions XTRAactive adaptive lenses and Transitions Drivewear, which are specially designed to work behind a windscreen.
Graduated lenses can make driving more comfortable, leaving the bottom part lighter for clear dashboard viewing and the upper part darker to ensure clear, comfortable vision in bright weather.
However, it is important that the lenses have the correct tint density for the conditions, otherwise they are not safe for driving in.
Find out more about tint density here.
All be sure that the lenses are in a colour that is safe for the road (see Part 1 of the guide for more info on this).
Everyday lenses are polished to ensure a smooth and smart finish, and so that your vision isn’t impeded by any marks or scuffs.
However, this does mean that they reflect around 10% of the light hitting them.
Depending on the conditions, this could negatively impact you when you’re driving, as less light is getting into your eyes, reducing your visibility.
The reflections themselves can also be annoying and/or distracting.
To increase visibility and reduce reflections, you can get an anti-reflective coating.
This coating also repels water and grease, meaning they are easier to clean – now you know why your optician always recommends them!
Anti-scratch coatings are also available and are another useful tool in a motorist’s kit.
This is because scratches and nicks are not only distracting, but if they get big enough or are in certain spots, they will create more problems with glare.
Remember that polarised lenses are the safest for driving.
Finally make sure your new sunglasses have the ‘CE’ mark, which indicates that the shades meet the specified European Standard, and provide appropriate protection from UV rays.
Like this? Read about our top polarised sunglasses here
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