Is your summer eyewear roadworthy?

Car windscreens and motorcycle helmets have built-in UV protection, however, many motorists find that wearing sunglasses helps to reduce glare and provide added comfort in strong sunlight.

Look out for the CE or BS EN 1836:2005 marks when choosing your sunglasses – this ensures that they provide a safe level of protection from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays.

The Trust’s top ten tips for ensuring your summer eyewear is roadworthy!

  1. Visit your optometrist for practical advice on choosing appropriate eyewear for driving in all weather conditions.
  2. Polarised lenses can help reduce glare from wet or polished road surfaces. However they can also highlight stress patterns in older types of toughened windscreens – which can be distracting and hazardous.
  3. Make sure your sunglasses are free from marks or scratches as these can distort vision and increase glare.
  4. Choose a tinted lens with an anti-reflective coating to help minimise glare.
  5. If you normally wear spectacles for driving make sure you replace them with a pair of prescription sunglasses in sunny conditions. Alternatively, you can use tinted non-prescription clip-on lenses with your regular glasses.
  6. Avoid sunglasses with really heavy frames. Slim arms provide the greatest all-round vision. Drivers need a visual range of at least 120 degrees.
  7. Never wear sunglasses with a category four filter lenses. These have an exceptionally dark tint and are unsuitable for driving. By law drivers’ eyewear must have a visible light transmission in excess of eight per cent. CAT 4 lenses only transmit between three – eight per cent.
  8. The Highway Code states that you should never wear sunglasses or tinted lenses for driving at night or when visibility is poor eg: if it is raining heavily, snowing or foggy.
  9. Beware of pink or blue tinted lenses when driving as these can potentially distort colours – making driving dangerous. Neutral tints such as grey or brown minimise any potential colour distortion.
  10. Always remember to remove your sunglasses when travelling from extremely light to dark conditions eg: when driving into a dark tunnel.
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