We spend great amount of time driving, whether it’s for running errands, going to or from work, going out and the list goes on. A pair of stylish sunnies might make a fashion statement around town, at the beach, or on the deck of an après-ski bar, but they are also are absolute necessity for many active pursuits.
Many drivers are not aware that some sunglasses are unsuitable to wear behind their driving wheel. Having blurred vision puts your family and others in harm’s way. We have gathered here some tips to help you enjoy your ride and reduce the risk of getting a road accident:
You can also have another option to help reduce glare you get from sunlight reflecting off surfaces of tinted lenses, cars with a shiny metallic body, mirrors and so on; quite drastically by having polarized lens. If you’re off to the seaside for your summer vacation this type of lens would be ideal to dampen glare you get off water. It makes for a much more comfortable driving experience by reducing the strain on your eyes and providing UV protection. Polarized lenses can also be useful in foggy or hazy conditions as they can help improve contrast and sharpen details.
You want to choose a frame that won’t affect you peripheral vision making it harder for you to see hazards on the roads.
Types of Frames:
Wayfarer : Wayfarers were first introduced by Ray-Ban in the 1950s. This type of sunglasses features a trapezoidal frame, which is unique to this style. Because they are usually made out of plastic, these sunglasses are often very lightweight.
Aviator: This popular type of sunglasses was first given to military pilots to help protect their eyes from the sun. Since then, they have become increasingly popular and are one of the most common types of sunglasses today. The teardrop shape of the lenses prevents light from entering at all angles, which can be helpful while driving. Many variants of this type also exist with slightly different lens shapes.
Cat eye : The cat eye sunglasses are almost exclusively worn by women, though there are some styles out there for men as well. These sunglasses feature lenses that are pointed along the outside edge, much like a cat eye.
Rectangular: This is a very common style that is utilized by many for practical reasons. They are most common among the military, bodyguards, and other outdoor professions. The clean and minimal lines are also very stylish and are becoming increasingly popular.
Circular: Round sunglasses are a vintage style that is making a comeback. While these sunglasses usually don't help block the sun much, they are chosen by many due to their style. In some cases, you will find driving sunglasses in this design, though it is rare.
Few sunglasses rest absolutely flat across the front of your face; nearly all will have more or less of a curve, referred to as a ‘base curve.’ Most style-oriented sunglasses have a shallower base curvature (like a Base 4 or Base 5), which means the sunglasses don’t conform as closely to your face as a wrap-around style might (like a Base 8). The shallower base curve can let in more light from indirect angles. This isn’t always a detriment, but if you’re spending entire days in the sun, more curvature is generally safer for your eyes. The head-hugging fit of a high-base-curvature style will usually be found on sport sunglasses.
Tints are applied to lenses to help absorb light as it passes through, as well as how well a person can see certain colors, the degree of visual contrast experienced. Luckily, there’s been lots of research into the subject, so we’re happy to tell you that there are four tint colours you should consider for glasses you intend to use for driving:
Brown/amber: A classic colour and for good reason. The reddish element of amber shades allows for better depth perception and enhances contrast too. And, they’re great for variable weather conditions, so the sunshine/shower combination is taken care of.
Yellow: Yellowish hues are often included in sunglasses made specifically for drivers and for good reason. Yellow enhances definition and contrast. (And they’re also great for driving by streetlight at night too.)
Grey: Another common colour for sunglasses and another great choice, as grey reduces eye fatigue, which can be a real issue on roads with sun glare. Grey also helps keep glare off water to a minimum too, while keeping true colour perception.
Rose: This is a great weather all-rounder, meaning it improves depth perception and enhances contrast in all conditions. So they’re great for weather that’s changing from sunny to cloudy and back again. But, make sure they have a 'safe for driving' label. And, of course, there’s the benefit of seeing the world through rose tinted specs too!
(extra little tip – choose a graduated tint if you can. This allows you to see the instrument panel much better.)
Choosing sunglasses with specific lens coatings can help to ensure visual clarity while driving, as well as helping to improve the performance and longevity of your sunglasses.
When lenses are produced they are highly polished to give a smooth finish, however this means they reflect around 10% of the light that hits them. An anti-reflective coating dramatically reduces this meaning more light is able to be transmitted through the lens, improving visibility. Another benefit of anti-glare coating is that it repels water and grease, making it easier to keep your sunglasses clean and clear.
Some eyewear manufacturers include their own patented anti-glare coatings for their driving sunglasses, polarized or otherwise. Scratch resistant coating helps extend the life of your sunglasses by helping to protect your lenses from damage. It’s easy to scratch lenses by getting them dirty or by knocking them on things, these scratches increase glare and can significantly impact the clarity of your vision.
Extra tip - When buying sunglasses you should look out for the ‘CE’ marking usually found on the inside of one of the arms. This means the lenses meet the European Standard BS EN 1836:2005 and therefore provide adequate protection from UV rays.
After choosing your lenses color, tints density usually ranges between 0 being no tint and 4 being very dark. It is recommended that you aim for category between 0-3 for driving sunglasses.
Style Always Matters
As much as we get driving sunglasses or practical use, it’s not a good pair of sunglasses if it sacrifices on style. You’ll be going places, literally, with them on, so looking good and feeling good is a top priority.
As with our clothes, we all want to wear something that communicates our sense of style on our faces. Stylish sunglasses are an accessory that gives a little ode to creativity and novelty, which is the perfect way to express personality.
If you don’t think that sunglasses can have that much impact on your overall style, just think of all the high-profile race car drivers who are never spotted without some cool shades on. Or consider 1960s starlet and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn who is famed for being one of the most stylish wearers of sunglasses on the planet. If you’re looking for a crisp, clear view with all the right specifications for your car sunglasses, make sure to get the best sunglasses for driving.
Comfort: Some sunglasses are more comfortable than others. The material, fit, and weight all factor into how comfortable the sunglasses are. While comfort might not be a huge deal if you only commute ten minutes to work every day, it can be essential if you plan on wearing these sunglasses a lot.
Durability: Much like comfort, how durable a pair of sunglasses depends on a variety of factors. The materials are perhaps the biggest factor. However, weight and craftsmanship can play a large role as well.