We all knew that a good pair of sunglasses is an indispensable accessory in your daily commute. Good visibility of the road ahead is a vital factor in driving safely. In other words, driving relies mainly on a clear vision to see road signs, traffic signals, and incoming traffic. If you get blurring vision due to glare, you may be at risk of causing a road accident. Thus it's worth investing in a proper pair of sunglasses for driving. When it comes to the best shades for driving, you may get confused since the glasses are not labeled for driving. And you also could not find the driving section when visiting the sunglasses store. Choosing decent sunglasses will help you maintain comfort behind the wheel and see better in difficult driving conditions.
The question that comes up is how to pick the best sunglasses for driving? Here are some tips to help you pick the best glasses when you are on the wheel.
Thin metal sunglasses feature curved lenses for better peripheral visibility when behind the wheel.
All lens colors provide the same performance in preventing UV rays from entering the eyes, but different colors will affect how true color perception your eyes will receive.
- The best lens colors for driving are known as grey, brown, copper, and amper. Grey color is for multi-purpose use, also comfortable for countless hours driving. Brown, amber, and copper colors help to enhance contrast and detail, also offer a crisp view.
- Avoid pink and blue colors since these bright colors may distort the traffic and light signs.
Not all sunglasses can maintain good visibility when behind the wheel. Some are too dark to allow less light to enter the eyes and cause impairing visibility. Others are too light to allow too much light over the eye's ability to cause eyestrain and headache. A good pair of sunglasses for driving must filter just enough visible light to maintain clear vision and allow to see traffic ahead. Tint density will control the level of visible light passing through your eyes. It's rated into five categories:
- Class P0: clear or very light tinted lenses, allowing 80% to 100% light transmission. Thus these lenses are mainly used for safety glasses.
- Class P1: Pale or light-tinted lens, allowing 43% to 80% visible light to enter the eyes. These light lenses are mainly used for fashion eyewear or overcast conditions.
- Class P2: Rose, orange, blue and red lenses, allowing 18% to 43% light transmission. These lenses are used in the most common sunglasses available on the market. They are suitable for driving in medium sunlight.
- Class P3: Grey or brown lenses, allowing 8% to 18% light transmission. These lenses are usually used in most standard sunglasses. They are suitable for driving in bright sunlight, mountain, desert.
- Class P4: Very dark brown or grey lenses, allowing only 3% to 8% light transmission. They are typically used in harsh environments and high altitudes. If you are not driving in bright and sunny locations like a desert, mountain, avoid these too dark or mirrored lenses as they block too much visible light and obstruct your vision while your eyes need light to see things ahead like traffic signs, oncoming vehicles.
You can identify which category your glasses belong to by looking at the class printed on the temples. For example, category 3 printed P3 or cat 3. It all depends on driving conditions. Choosing a proper tint will help maintain good visibility to avoid accidents and full eye protection at the same time.
Regarding the frame type for driving, coverage and a comfortable fit are the essential keys to avoid hindering vision and headache. Nobody wants the glasses to slip down during driving, or the frames are too tight to cause pressure behind the ears.
- Thin frames and slim temples that do not obscure your vision are optimal choices for driving. Avoid sunglasses that they interfere with your peripheral vision. Frames with curved lenses and thin arms like aviator shades are great for maintaining your peripheral vision while providing full protection from various directions.
- For road trip driving, comfortable frames are advisable. Avoid bulky, oversized, or heavy frames.
- Consider polarized lenses: Sunlight reflects from wet roads, traffic signs and then transforms into a harmful glare that can blind you while driving. Polarized lenses can reduce this annoying glare and provide comfort, a clear vision to the drivers to ensure safe driving. However, be aware that polarized lenses make you can hardly read electronic clusters on modern cars. To verify your sunglasses are polarized or not to follow this link.
- Consider investing in gradient lenses that are darkest on the top to combat the sun rays and lighter on the bottom for viewing or reading. These lens features are so convenient to allow drivers to fight sunlight and view or read things in low light conditions.
- Consider photochromic lenses: Photochromic lenses are known as transition lenses or light-adaptive lenses. They are the optical lenses that darken like tinted lenses on exposure to UV rays and return clear indoors or shaded areas. Depend on the weather or sunlight conditions, they change the lens property and filter the visible light to make sure your eyes receive just enough amount for the best visibility. This benefit helps you to maintain a clear view no matter you are on bright or cloudy days.
- Avoid mirrored lenses on rainy or overcast days since mirrored lenses reflect the visible light while your eyes need the light to view incoming vehicles and traffic signs.
Check the weather in your region
Before deciding to buy new shades for driving, you should check the weather that affects your routine commute to work. Different locations receive different levels of sunlight. Thus, some hot areas with intense sun rays require darker tint or mirrored lenses to cut more light before entering your eyes. For other regions with many cloudy or overcast days, light tint lenses or class 2 are more than enough to do the job.