Here are some helpful safe driving tips from “Thinking About Your Eyes”

Distracting glare – is a great annoyance caused by light reflecting within spectacle lenses and will cause eye fatigue as a result of straining to see the road ahead. It is most noticeable in low light conditions with oncoming headlights and street lights creating this glare. A simple anti-reflective coating on lenses will rectify this problem by reducing the glare.

Discomforting glare – this is triggered by changing light conditions. It can cause squinting and eye fatigue for drivers. If you are experiencing this type of glare a standard photochromic lens that darkens on exposure to specific types of light, most commonly ultraviolet, may not offer enough protection due to the cars’ windscreen filtering out some of this light. A Transitions Extra Active lens would be more appropriate as it reacts to light in general and will respond quickly and effectively to the changing light conditions. Don’t forget the anti-reflective coating to combat the distracting glare as well.

Disabling glare – this is caused by light too bright for the eye and it effectively reduces or blocks vision due to something called retinal veiling – a veil or haze over the retina. The solution is a dark sunglass tint which reduces the overall amount of light reaching the back of your eye, helping you identify hazards quickly and react efficiently.

Blinding glare – this is the most severe form of glare and drivers are more likely to notice this problem when the sun’s low in the sky and it reflects off another flat surface. An example of this is when the sun reflects off a wet road surface causing an intense bright light. This can prove incredibly dangerous to drivers, passengers and other road users as it can cause a temporary blindness. A polarising filter on lenses is the most effective way to prevent this temporary blindness. It will also significantly reduce eye strain and improve vision in these hazardous conditions.

Without clear vision you may as well be driving blind. Ensuring your vision is clear will go a very long way to keeping you, any passengers and others safe on the road. Having regular eye exams will not only check your vision, ensuring you have the correct prescription and lens solution to eliminate glare, but can also pick up underlying health problems.
All opticians will recommend you have an eye exam at least every two years unless otherwise indicated that it needs to be more frequently. If you feel your sight has deteriorated don’t delay in seeing your optician.
In addition to making sure you have regular eye exams and the most suitable lenses for your needs, there are other ways you can improve your vision in varying weather conditions:

  • Use your sun visor – it may seem obvious, but it’s simple and effective at reducing the amount of light entering your eyes and can help relieve some of the strain
  • Ensure your windscreen is clean, both inside and out. Removing streaks, grease and smudges which can scatter light will help reduce contrast of objects and make the road more visible.
  • Windscreen washer fluid – make sure you keep this topped up. Water spray and salt on the road can quickly cause your windscreen to become dirty and impair your vision.
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