Ask any parent of a learner’s permit-holding teenager, and they will tell you that driving is a privilege. It can also be a hazard unless the right safety precautions are taken. Along with buckling your seatbelt and checking your mirrors, did you know you should also wear sunglasses when driving during the day? Here are five reasons your daytime drive should also include some sunglasses.
1. Cuts Out Glare
Bright sunlight has a tendency to reflect off of shiny surfaces like other cars, bodies of water, or even the road itself. Pair that with the refractive power of your car’s windshield, and you have a recipe for blinding glares that may hinder your ability to see clearly. Wearing sunglasses reduces glare and mitigates blinding sunlight so that you can see better and drive safely. Specifically, sunglasses with polarized lenses are specialized to balance out color contrast and neutralize glares.
2. Decreases Eye Strain
Squinting against the sunlight as you drive can eventually lead to eye strain, especially if you’re taking a long trip or making multiple trips in a day. This can weaken eye muscles over time, affecting your eyesight as well as your energy levels. Strained eyes may also contribute to headaches, migraines, or nausea. By wearing sunglasses, you won’t be compelled to squint as much and subsequently feel more alert and energized as you drive.
3. Shields Eyes From UV Rays
UVA and UVB rays from sunlight will expose your eyes to radiation. Over time, this can contribute to conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration, or even retinal cancer. Even when you’re inside your car, you are exposing yourself and your eyes to this type of radiation. To minimize the risk of developing these conditions, it’s important to put your shades on before you start driving. In particular, you should stick to sunglasses with lenses that are treated to filter out UV rays.
4. Improves Visibility in Inclement Weather
Sunglasses aren’t just useful for sunny days. They can also enhance your vision in heavy rain or fog. When the weather is rainy or foggy, water droplets in the air can scatter light and make it hard to discern objects through your windshield. It’s very similar to the glare effect caused by sunlight reflecting off of shiny surfaces.
5. Safer Driving
Simply put, when you can see better, you can drive better. Sunglasses allow you to see potential road hazards and cut down on distracting glares. Combined, these effects help protect you against accidents and allow you to drive more safely. When you wear sunglasses, you are less likely to be distracted and can focus more on the roadway.
To protect your eyes, you should make a habit of putting on your sunglasses before every drive. The easiest way to do this is to have a special pair of sunglasses that never leaves your car. Keep your sunglasses in plain sight and within easy reach, such as your dashboard, cup holder, or the sun visor above your steering wheel. By doing this, you are ensuring that every drive is comfortable and hazard-free.