Can Polarized Sunglasses Really Help with Driving?

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Polarized lenses are everywhere. Optometrists talk about them, fashion outlets brag about them, and the people who own a pair love them.


Especially people who spend a lot of time on the road or participate in motorsports – polarized lenses are essential gear for avid drivers. How exactly do polarized lenses make a difference in clarity or safety? This quick guide will explain.

The Advantages of Polarized Lenses

While regular sunglasses darken the entire view, polarized lenses actively filter out a portion of the light, including the ambient light from the sky along with rays bounced off horizontal surfaces. This is why polarized sunglasses are so good at reducing the effect of glare and harsh reflections.

Polarized lenses can help to eliminate the distracting glare on the dashboard and car hood along with haze from roads and sidewalks. They can also help to reduce the brightness of snow, water, and sand. The glare-cutting ability is especially helpful for drivers who are often on the road in the early morning and evening when the reflections are at their brightest.

Polarized sunglasses improve bad-weather visibility, cutting through rain and fog. It is difficult to explain how effective they are at cutting through the haze until you have experienced the effect for yourself. Fisherman and boating enthusiasts love polarized lenses because of how effective they are at cutting reflections from water whether the moisture is in the air or in a lakebed.

How to Find the “Real Deal”

Not all polarized sunglasses are created equal.  The highest quality polarized lenses are created by fusing the polarized filter layer to the lens while it is still in a liquid state. That technology is still quite new, so you may have better luck finding proven lenses using the standard polarization technique – the polarization layer is sandwiched between the lens layers for a highly durable and effective result.

Do not be fooled though, sometimes the cheap polarized sunglasses are just as good as the expensive ones. The only thing that matters is the quality of the lens and polarization layers, and of course, well-fitting frames. Make sure you are getting the real deal by going through a sunglasses retailer that offers a generous return policy.

Other Features and Factors to Consider

Polarization is not a replacement for UV protection – a good pair of driving sunglasses will contain both. Look for 100% UVB protection, and look for the highest polarization rating you can find. These two factors together will protect your eyes better than even the darkest tinted sunglasses. Going too dark can impair vision in bad weather and lower light situations anyways. If you want more tint to top off your selection, many drivers prefer a rose or amber hue to increase road contrast.

The perfect pair of shades is out there somewhere! You will never want to drive with a pair of gas station sunglasses ever again once you hit the road with a great pair of driving shades. Your eyes deserve the sun protection, you deserve the comfort, and looking stylish is just a fun little bonus.