The Right Sunglasses Could be a Life-Saver this Fall

Windshield Glare While Driving

Polarized Sunglasses can reduce dangerous glare while driving.

Let’s be honest. We all love the way we look and feel behind the wheel when we’re wearing our favorite pair of shades. It’s pure Americana. Ever since there have been hot cars, there have been cool sunglasses. So good news. Especially at this time of year, wearing sweet “sunnies” is more important than ever. In fact, your sunglasses could save your life.

The fall equinox is a particularly problematic time of year for drivers. With the glaring sun blazing at eye level through our windshields, commuters who must travel east in the morning are forced to battle more than just rush hour traffic. They’re literally faced with the blinding sun as well. Enduring a glaring, westward commute home in the evening is equally stressful.

This happens every autumn as the nights grow longer and the days grow shorter. On September 23rd—the fall equinox—day and night will be exactly 12 hours each, challenging drivers twice daily to make out traffic signals, signs, pedestrians and other vehicles against a backdrop of dazzling sunlight. That’s when it becomes more important than ever to remember the best strategies for safe driving.

Strategies for Safe Driving in the Weeks Surrounding the Fall Equinox
Motorists shouldn’t feel helpless against the powerful rays of the sun. Police offer the following tips:
  • Invest in a pair of quality sunglasses with polarized lenses and good coverage. Polarized lenses help reduce glare from the road, windshield, cars, and other reflective surfaces. For optimal safety, polarized sunglasses are essential for early morning and late afternoon driving.
  • Slow down. If you can’t see well, decrease your speed, giving yourself added reaction time.
  • Increase your protective zone of safety by maintaining a greater distance than usual between you and the car ahead of you. Cushion yourself by following at a safer distance.
  • Keep your sun visor free of loose objects such as papers, CDs, small electronics, cosmetics, etc. They can cause a major distraction when quickly flipping down your visor, only to have a cascade of miscellaneous items fall into your lap and down around your feet.
  • Keep your windshield clean, both inside and out. This will help eliminate glare caused by the buildup of dirt and chemical film on the glass. If you rub a clean finger across the inside of your windshield and see a smear, you’re past due for a good cleaning. And always make sure your windshield washer fluid is full.
  • Don’t drive with a cracked or pitted windshield.
  • Avoid driving east during the morning hours and west during the evening hours unless you absolutely have to.
Polarized Sunglasses: Your Best Protection
Of all these safety strategies, the most effective is a pair of polarized sunglasses that reduce the glare caused by long, flat surfaces such as your car’s hood and the road.  Glare occurs when light waves are reflected off these horizontal surfaces. Polarized lenses block this reflected glare. The special polarized film used on these lenses contains horizontal filtering strips that act like Venetian blinds set at a specific angle to filter out 99% of the light waves that cause glare. By wearing sunglasses with polarized lenses, not only will you notice better clarity and color, but you’ll experience reduced eye fatigue as well.
Revo Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized Sunglasses like the Revo Overhang greatly reduce glare and help increase contrast and depth perception.

The gold standard for polarized sunglasses are those with both polycarbonate lenses and UV protection. Polycarbonate lenses are up to 35% lighter and thinner than plastic lenses, they offer the best impact resistance of any lens material, and they’re best at reducing glare from water, sand, snow and highway pavement—all of which can cause temporary sun blindness, eyestrain, headaches, and impaired night vision. UV protection comes from an invisible chemical applied to the lenses. Opticians agree that polarized lenses with UV ray protection are the best sunglasses for driving because of their superior glare resistance. Brands such as Oakley, Revo,  Wiley-X  and Edge Eyewearoffer several styles of sunglasses available with polarized lenses.

Every driver knows how important it is to pay close attention to the road, but the blinding sun, whether it’s rising or setting, is no help during the weeks surrounding the fall equinox. With the sun creating a glare that has the potential to make rush hour even more hazardous than usual, using strategies to reduce your risk of an accident is everyone’s responsibility.
Denise Cripps About Denise Cripps

CEO, CFO, President, Vice President and Social Chair of the Cripps Family Board, Denise enjoys the challenge of keeping her writing career on track while managing a mostly-sane family of five, including a dog and a rat. Denise likes her books promptly returned, her vegetables organic, and her wine in alphabetical order on the rack. Other interests include fun with family and friends, reading and writing, traveling far and wide, listening to NPR as many hours a day as possible, movies and music, cooking and nutrition, moving (dancing, yoga, hiking, exercising), and petting chickens.

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