Sunglasses for Driving
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Sunglasses for Driving

Should You Wear Sunglasses While Driving?

When it comes to driving, protecting your eyes should be a top priority. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of wearing sunglasses while driving and the benefits they offer.

From reducing sun glare and enhancing visibility to protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays, sunglasses are a valuable accessory for every driver.

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Top 5 Reasons Why Wear Sunglasses While Driving

Wearing sunglasses while driving is not just a fashion statement; it serves several practical purposes. Here are the top five reasons why wearing sunglasses behind the wheel is essential:

1. Safe Driving 

When you wear sunglasses, you enhance your ability to drive safely by reducing glare and enhancing contrast. Glare from the sun, headlights, and reflective surfaces can impair your vision and cause distractions, leading to potential accidents.

Sunglasses help minimize glare and provide better visibility, allowing you to focus on the road ahead.

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2. Protection From UV Rays

Ultraviolet light protection is crucial for maintaining healthy eyes, even while driving. Harmful UV rays from the sun can cause long-term damage to your eyes, including cataracts and macular degeneration. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection shields your eyes from these harmful rays, ensuring optimal eye health.

It’s important to note that UV rays are present year-round, so wearing sunglasses is necessary regardless of the season. Yes, you should even wear sunglasses in winter!

3. Decreasing Eye Strain and Discomfort

Long hours of driving can strain your eyes, leading to discomfort, fatigue, and headaches. Sunglasses with properly tinted lenses and polarization reduce eye strain by filtering out excessive brightness and harsh light. This allows your eyes to relax and focus more comfortably, resulting in a more enjoyable and less tiring driving experience.

4. Protection From Glare 

Glare from the sun reflecting off surfaces like water, snow, or bright lights from other vehicles can be blinding and dangerous while driving. Polarized sunglasses are particularly effective in eliminating glare and providing a clear view of the road.

By reducing glare with polarized sunglasses, you enhance your ability to see obstacles, road signs, and other vehicles, ensuring a safer driving environment.

5. Clearer Vision and Better Health

Sunglasses play a vital role in providing clearer vision in various weather conditions. Rainy or foggy weather can significantly reduce visibility, but the right sunglasses can help cut through the haze and enhance contrast, making it easier to see the road ahead.

Whether it’s rain, fog, bright sun, or other challenging weather conditions, sunglasses improve your vision and enable you to navigate safely.

Wearing sunglasses while driving not only protects your eyes but also promotes overall health and well-being. By shielding your eyes from harmful UV rays, you reduce the risk of eye-related conditions and maintain good eye health.

Additionally, decreased eye strain and enhanced comfort contribute to a more relaxed driving experience, positively impacting your physical and mental well-being.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Sunglasses for Drivers

Choosing the right sunglasses for driving is essential to maximize their benefits. Consider the following factors to ensure you select sunglasses that are suitable for driving.

1. Tint Density 

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The tint density of sunglasses determines the amount of light that passes through the lenses. The AA (Automobile Association) recommends a medium tint density for driving, providing adequate protection against sunlight while maintaining visibility.

Tint density classified by the percentage of light transmitted through the lenses. Here’s a guide to different lens tint densities:


Light Transmission % Category Wear in environments with
43%-80%  1 low light intensity
18%-43%  2 medium sunlight
8%-18%  3 bright sunlight
3%-8%  4 intense bright sunlight


Please note that, unless prescribed by your eye doctor, no sunglass lenses are suitable for night driving.

2. Polarized Lenses 

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Polarized lenses are a popular choice for sunglasses while driving, and for good reason. These lenses are designed to reduce glare, making them ideal for combating bright sunlight and reflective surfaces on the road. By eliminating horizontal glare, polarized lenses provide improved visual clarity and enhanced contrast, allowing you to see the road and surrounding objects more clearly.

When it comes to driving, the Polarized Original Pilot sunglasses from American Optical are an excellent choice. With their classic aviator style, these polarized sunglasses offer both timeless appeal and superior glare reduction.

3. Lens Color and Gradient Lenses

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The lens color of your sunglasses can significantly impact your driving experience. Opting for the right lens color can enhance your vision and reduce eye strain while on the road.

When choosing driving sunglasses, consider lens colors that provide good color perception and depth perception, such as gray, brown, or green lenses. Regardless of color, still opt for polarized sunglasses for the crispest vision.

Whether you prefer sleek gray shades or warm brown sunglasses, American Optical is known for timeless designs and premium lens quality.

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Gradient sunglasses, also known as graduated lenses, are a practical choice for driving sunglasses. These lenses feature a darker tint at the top, gradually becoming lighter towards the bottom. This design allows for clear vision of the road ahead while providing some protection from overhead sunlight.

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5. Frame Style

While lens features are crucial, the frame style of your sunglasses can also impact your driving comfort and safety. Opt for a frame style that provides a secure fit, doesn’t obstruct your vision, and complements your face shape.

When it comes to frame style, there’s a wide variety of options available at American Optical. From classic aviator styles to on-trend looks, you can find the perfect sunglasses that combine functionality and personal style for your driving adventures.

Remember, selecting the right driving sunglasses is essential for your safety and visual comfort on the road. Explore the range of sunglasses at American Optical and use our virtual try-on feature to choose the perfect pair that meets your driving needs today.

should I wear sunglasses while driving

One Final Tip for Choosing the Best Sunglasses for Driving

Consider weather and geography

Weather and geography play significant roles in determining the type of sunglasses you should wear while driving. Here’s how they can affect your choice:

  1. Sunlight intensity: The intensity of sunlight varies based on factors such as time of day, season, and geographical location. If you live in an area with high sun exposure or frequently drive during peak daylight hours, you may need sunglasses with darker lenses to reduce glare and provide better eye protection. On the other hand, if you’re in an area with milder sunlight, lighter tinted sunglasses might be sufficient.
  2. Weather conditions: Different weather conditions require different types of sunglasses. For example, during cloudy or overcast days, you may not need sunglasses with dark lenses as the sunlight is diffused. However, even on cloudy days, UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds, so wearing sunglasses with UV protection is essential to safeguard your eyes.
  3. Geographical factors: The geographical location you are driving in can also impact your sunglasses choice. For instance, if you live or drive in high-altitude areas, such as mountainous regions, the intensity of UV rays increases due to thinner atmosphere. In such cases, sunglasses with UV protection and larger frames to cover a wider area around your eyes are recommended.

It’s important to note that while sunglasses can improve visibility and protect your eyes, they should not be too dark to impair your vision, especially during low-light conditions.

Consider choosing sunglasses that comply with safety standards and are specifically designed for driving to ensure optimal visibility and eye protection.

Is It Legal to Wear Sunglasses While Driving?

Wearing sunglasses while driving is generally legal, as long as they meet specific requirements. However, it’s essential to comply with local laws and regulations regarding tint density, lens color, and other factors.

Some jurisdictions may have restrictions on excessively dark tints or specific colors that may affect visibility. Familiarize yourself with the regulations in your area to ensure you stay within the legal boundaries while enjoying the benefits of sunglasses while driving.

Find Quality Sunglasses for Driving at American Optical Today!

Choosing the right sunglasses for driving is crucial for a safe and comfortable driving experience. Whether it’s enhancing visibility, protecting your eyes from UV rays, or reducing eye strain, sunglasses offer numerous benefits on the road.

At American Optical, we provide a wide range of sunglasses suitable for driving, with different shapes, sizes, and lens options available. Visit our store today and find the perfect sunglasses that combine style, comfort, and optimal eye protection for your driving needs.

Remember, safe driving starts with proper eye care and the right sunglasses! If you have any questions about what sunglasses are best given where you drive, please contact us.

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