Do You Need Night Driving Glasses?
Driving at night can be stressful and dangerous due a number of factors, including low natural light levels and high glare from other vehicles. Some eyewear brands sell night driving glasses, designed to help your eyes on dark roads - but, do they work and do you need them? This guide seeks to answer your questions about night driving glasses, to help you make informed decisions when it comes to your road safety and eye health.
What Are Night Driving Glasses?
Night driving glasses are glasses with non-prescription, tinted lenses that range in colour from light yellow to amber. Originally designed to increase contrast and clarity to help shooters hit their targets, yellow-tinted glasses help in the same way on poorly-lit roads. Anti-glare night driving glasses are also available to buy. These glasses have a special coating that stop too much light from reflecting off the lenses - increasing visual acuity and reducing distractions from inside the car.
How Do Night Driving Glasses Work?
Night time driving glasses reduce glare by scattering and filtering out blue light, similar to zFORT® glasses technology. Blue light has the shortest wavelength and the largest amount of energy of any kind of visible light. Unlike types of light with longer wavelengths, blue light is more likely to cause glare when it enters the eye.
Do These Glasses Really Work?
Some wearers of night driving glasses report that they’re better able to see at night while wearing them. However, visual tests indicate that night driving glasses do not improve night vision, and do not help drivers see obstacles any faster than they would without them. If you are required to wear prescription glasses to drive, do not switch them out for non-prescription yellow night driving glasses; they are not a direct substitute - more of an additional measure for people with good eyesight already.
If you have difficulty seeing in dim or dark lighting, or driving in the dark, you may have nyctalopia or night blindness. It also makes it hard for the eyes to transition from bright light to dim light, which is why driving at night against oncoming traffic can be problematic. One cause of night blindness is cataracts, which you can learn more about here.
What Type of Glasses Should Not Be Worn While Driving at Night?
While prescription glasses will help to improve your vision, and yellow lenses may slightly improve it, sunglasses and darker tinted lenses can be incredibly dangerous for driving at night. They lower your ability to see a contrast in light during a dark time of day. If you are struggling with your vision, it is imperative not to wear sunglasses at night.
Solutions to Low-Light Lack of Visibility
Night driving glasses are certainly not an all-curing solution to poor visibility at night - they’re definitely not ‘night vision glasses for driving’. However, in dim to light conditions they may increase some clarity in your field of vision. Here are some tips that will actually improve visibility while driving at night:
Keep your glasses prescription up to date by getting regular eye exams.
Smudges can amplify glare, so wipe your glasses down with a dry microfiber cloth before driving.
Make sure your car windows are clean both inside and out, since dirt streaks and dust can amplify glare.
Replace your windscreen wipers regularly.
Keep dashboard lights dim, to avoid eye strain while night driving.
Keep your headlights clean and free of grime.
See an optician if your vision changes or seems to deteriorate at night.