Last updated:
March 2, 2024
Written by
Grace Patel

Sunglasses for Safer Driving: Protecting Your Eyes on the Road

Driving in the UK presents unique challenges due to its variable weather conditions, from the low winter sun to the bright summer glare. For you as a car owner, finding the right sunglasses is not just about comfort; it's about enhancing driving safety, protecting eye health, and ensuring comfort behind the wheel. 

So let’s get started looking at some essential information to help you choose sunglasses that cater to the specific demands of different weather conditions.

Enhancing Road Safety with the Right Sunglasses

Safety is the number one priority for every driver. With the unpredictable British weather, from bright sunshine to reflective wet roads, driving sunglasses are ideal to help you maintain clear vision. Here's how sunglasses contribute to safer driving:

  1. Reduced Glare

Polarised lenses are particularly effective at cutting down glare that bounces off reflective surfaces - they are coated with a special film that helps filter out intense horizontal rays. They help to reduce intense bright light and allow you to keep your eye on the road and surroundings. 

  1. Improved Contrast and Clarity

Certain lens tints, such as yellow, amber and brown, offer clear advantages in improving contrast and depth perception whilst driving.

  • Amber or yellow tints excel in improving contrast and depth perception in foggy conditions, low light, or haze, brightening the environment and proving especially useful for driving during dawn, dusk, or in adverse weather. 
  • Brown tints, while similar to amber in enhancing contrast, specifically excel at filtering out blue light. This not only improves visual depth and clarity but also reduces glare, making them effective and versatile for driving under both sunny and cloudy skies.
  1. Protection from Intense Light

Overexposure to bright sunlight can cause discomfort and force drivers to squint, reducing their ability to see clearly. Sunglasses help moderate light levels reaching the eyes, ensuring a more comfortable and focused driving experience.

Impact of Sunglasses on Eye Health

When you look for sunglasses, you should make sure that they offer UVA and UVB protection. UVA rays are present throughout the entire year, and can pass through glass and even clouds. UVB rays are strongest during the summer months, and can be intense and can cause sunburn.

So here is our top tip: it isn’t just your skin that you need to look after in the sun! 

Reduced Eye Strain and Headaches

If your eyes are directly exposed to the sun for extended periods, it can lead to eye strain and fatiguing of the eyes, which can make it hard to focus your vision. By dimming the overall brightness and reducing the need to squint, sunglasses can prevent headaches and migraines triggered by eye strain, ensuring a more pleasant and less stressful driving experience.

Adaptability to Changing Conditions

Photochromic lenses adjust their level of darkness based on the ambient light around us. 

  • When exposed to bright sunlight, the lenses darken to reduce glare and provide comfortable vision, acting like sunglasses. 
  • In lower light conditions, such as indoors or on cloudy days, the lenses become clearer, offering the transparency of regular glasses.  

They therefore can offer seamless protection across different times of the day and varying weather conditions. This means that there is no need to switch between normal glasses and sunglasses all the time.

So whether you're driving through the streets of London or exploring the Scottish Highlands, whether it is in the morning or at midday, wearing UV protection sunglasses can significantly lower your risk of eye damage.

Best Sunglasses for Driving: What to Look For

Lens Technology: Polarised vs Photochromic

When searching for the best sunglasses for driving, drivers should consider lens technology as a main factor. As mentioned, polarised lenses are ideal for dealing with reflective glare, and photochromic lenses adapt to changing light conditions, which makes them suitable for all driving situations.

Frame Design: For Unobstructed Peripheral Vision

The design of your sunglasses can impact your field of vision. For optimal safety, select frames that offer clear peripheral vision. So, it is important to avoid styles that may obstruct your view of objects and movements outside the direct line of your eyesight. Wraparound sunglasses or aviator styles are popular choices among drivers for their blend of functionality and style.

Remember, the best sunglasses for driving are those that meet your specific needs while ensuring maximum protection and visibility on the road.

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