The day is bright and sunny. Optimal conditions for driving, right? Wrong! Blinding glare from sun and vehicles is a contributing factor to fatal motor vehicle accidents. More than 90 percent of reactions made behind the wheel depend on good vision. A recent survey by Essilor revealed a disturbing fact – 20 percent of eyeglass wearers sometimes drive without their prescription glasses and instead wear non-prescription sunglasses. That means one in five make day-driving unnecessarily treacherous. Another Essilor study found that reaction times improved by one-third of a second for drivers who wear polarized prescription lenses. For a car traveling 80 km/h, one-third of a second allows a driver to stop seven metres sooner, or the length of an intersection. In glare-intense situations, polarized lenses improve vision clarity by 75 percent, compared to ordinary sun lenses.
How do they work? Sunlight itself is not polarized – it’s either absorbed or reflected. Sunlight bouncing off a horizontal surface will strike the driver’s eyes at a similar angle and produce strong glare. Working like a venetian blind, polarized lenses have a laminated surface with invisible vertical stripes that allow only vertically-oriented light to enter the eyes. Glare is eliminated because the horizontally-polarized light waves can’t bypass the polarized filter.
Come and see us for specific advice on sunglass lenses and frame styles. We can recommend the best options for you based upon your lifestyle, hobbies, and degree of UV exposure.