When we think of road safety, we often overlook the hazards of driving in bright sunlight. Road safety experts state that most drivers don’t anticipate the dangers of sun glare until they are overtaken by it and, by then, it might be too late to react safely.
How the sun can effect your vision when driving
Besides the fact that brightness can interfere with your vision and your ability to drive, prolongued exposure to ultraviolet light can be a serious risk to your eyesight. Excessive and continuous exposure to UV rays from the sun can cause a painful irritation to the cornea just like sunburn on your skin.
It is also known to cause and worsen conditions such as pingueclae and pterygia, age related macular degeneration and cataracts which are leading causes of sight loss You can reduce ocular health risks by using the sun visors in your vehicle to shade your eyes and by investing in a good pair of prescription sunglasses or reactions spectacles.
Prescription glasses that will protect your eyes when driving
Precription polaroid spectacles are also a great option and are especially good at eliminating glare off wet roads and the car dashboard. When choosing sunglasses, opt for lenses which provide eye protection in bright light by blocking out UV light and high energy visible (HEV) radiation, otherwise known as blue light, making colours appear sharper. Make sure that the sunglasses you choose fall in the filter category range of 0–3, as a lens carrying a filter category of 4 is too dark to be safe for driving.
For maximum protection, check that your sunglasses comply with BSEN 1836: 1997 or bear the CE kite mark and are marked UV 400. Our eyesight can change so subtly that we often don’t notice it. It’s really important to keep on top of this with regular eye examinations, even if you think your vision is perfect. Visit your optician regularly to avoid putting yourself and others at risk when you get behing the wheel.
If you have trouble adjusting to glare, or seeing road signs, road markings, kerbs and other roadside features, call in for advice or book an eye test.