Lytham Eyewear

Driving Lenses

Advice For Drivers

Advice For Drivers

You should always wear your glasses or contact lenses when driving if you need them.

We recommend the following:

  • Keep a pair of prescription sunglasses in the car to combat bright sunlight, especially in the winter when the sun is low.
  • Plastic or polycarbonate lenses are less likely than glass to shatter in an accident.
  • The new technology used in varifocals gives a wider field of vision for driving.
  • Polarising lenses reduce glare, making them ideal for driving during bright daylight hours.
  • Adding an anti-reflective coating to your normal distance driving glasses reduces glare when night driving.

20.5 metres in good daylight.

The law in the UK states that you are legally required to be able to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5 metres in normal conditions. If you can’t meet this standard, your insurance will be invalid. However, there are two obvious problems with this criteria: first it requires drivers to self-test (which they rarely do) and secondly, it doesn’t test for visual fields (your peripheral vision), which is essential for safe driving. If you wear spectacles for driving, you should of course be wearing them for this test as well

Drive Safe Lenses.

A polarising lens manages reflections and supresses glare from any flat or shiny surface, resulting in a cleaner and sharper image. For example, polarising lenses eliminate glare to make water appear more transparent, enabling one to see fish and rocks below the surface. Similarly, polarising lenses will provide better definition for use when driving and during sport, removing dazzle and reducing eye fatigue.
With Polarised
Without Polarised

Polarising Lenses Explained
Suitable for both men and woman. they can be used in prescription glasses, sunglasses and goggles, ideal for travel, urban fashion, golf, cycling, biking, shooting, and other sports, including watersports.

What are Polarising Lenses?
In sports and other outdoor leisure activities, we react to what we see. We see by virtue of the light that enters our eyes. Without good sunwear, brightness and glare will diminish our best efforts. Glare results in a loss of visual performance, which is produced when an object or light source in the field-of-vision is brighter than the amount of light to which the eyes are adapted. Most tinted lenses will provide some absorption to dampen brightness, but only a polarised lens can effectively eliminate blinding glare.

What causes glare?
Light is made up of waves traveling in different directions. Vertical light is useful to the human eye; it helps us see. Horizontal light, however, simply creates glare. Glare is concentrated light reflecting off a horizontal shiny surface, such as a car windscreen, sand, water, snow or asphalt roads. It reduces visibility and can make it uncomfortable, painful and even dangerous to carry on driving, cycling, skiing or just sunbathing.

How do polarised lenses compare to standard tinted sunglasses?
Regular non-polarized sun lenses indiscriminately filter all light, whether it is horizontal or vertical. Glare is dampened, but not eliminated. More importantly, by filtering all components of light, visual acuity is diminished. On the other hand, polarised lenses allow in the vertical component of light, which is preferred for clear vision, while eliminating the easily scattered and skewed horizontal component of light. Vertically aligned light is preferred because it respects the natural tendency of the visual system to focus on the vertical component of an image.

Why are polarised sunglasses beneficial for water sports?
The glare of the sun on the sea and other water surfaces is highly polarised. Indeed, the glare can be almost completely horizontally polarised, depending on the height of the sun. In addition, all reflections from objects above water are partially polarized. These include clouds and even the sky (the reflected sky gives most of its blue colour to the sea). These are examples of polarisation by reflection. Although the light from the sun is not polarised, it can be separated into two polarised components that are reflected and transmitted in different amounts by the surface of the water. More of the horizontal component will be reflected than the vertical component, thus partially polarising the reflected light. With polarised sunglasses they will stop the glare and make the sea appear more transparent, enabling you to see fish and rocks below the surface.

Why are polarised sunglasses beneficial for driving?
Polarised sunglasses help when driving a car by reducing those bright reflections of the sun on the cars ahead. They tend to be horizontally polarised, thus perfect for vertically polarised sunglasses. The reason is that the surfaces you see on the car in front of you (the back window, the rear door, and even the roof) are slanted towards you, while the sun will be more or less aligned in the vertical plane through both cars. Polarising lenses will provide higher definition vision for driving, remove dazzling effects and reduce eye fatigue.

What are the advantages of polarised lenses?

A polarised lens offers the following advantages over a non-polarised lenses:

  • Improves visual comfort.
  • Improves contrast and visual clarity.
  • Reduces eyestrain.
  • Allows for true perception of colours.
  • Reduces reflections and eliminates glare.

When could polarised lenses pose a problem?
For certain sports or activities, polarised lenses are not the best choice. These are as follows:

  • Skiing in icy conditions. Patches of ice are easily identifiable as they reflect more light than snow. Wearing polarised lenses will make icy patches more difficult to see.
  • Spotting oil or icy patches on the road. For the same reasons above, at Lytham Eyewear we do not recommend using polarised lenses for riding motorbikes.
  • Viewing liquid crystal displays (LCDs) – Polarised lenses can make the LCDs of certain objects more difficult to read. As most modern motorbike instruments and the instrumentation in modern aircraft have LCD displays at Lytham Eyewear we do not recommend their use for such activities.

How do I know if my sunglasses are polarised?
Just look through the glasses at the reflection of any object on a window panel. Then, turn the sunglasses around as if they were the hands of a clock facing you. If the intensity of the reflection doesn’t change with respect to what you see through the window, they are not polarised. Another way is to hold them at 90 degrees to another polarised pair and if the lenses go dark where the lenses overlap, then your sunglasses are polarised too. If there’s no change, your lenses aren’t polarised.

Do polarised sunglasses work better at different times of day?
Yes. Maximum polarisation is obtained when the sun is at about 37 degrees from the horizon. If the sun is very low or very high, the sunglasses will be of little help in filtering the glare in calm seas. A rule of thumb would be that polarised filters limit the glare from calm waters for a sun altitude between 30 and 60 degrees.

Can I have clear polarising lenses?
No. Owing to the parallel row alignment of the iodine crystals, if they were clear they would not block light in a specific direction.

Do You Need An Eye Test? We Can Help.

About Us

Lytham Eyewear is an Independent Optician. With a combined 85 years of experience, we provide patients with an in-depth and thorough consultation. Supplying the best healthcare and most suitable eye wear for all your visual needs.

How To Find Us

Lytham Eyewear Opticians
8 Park St
01253 738976