For most people, the worst aspect of night driving is the glare of oncoming headlights from other cars. And, as you get older, with changes to the lens and cornea in your eyes, you are likely to suffer more from the effects of headlight glare.
Headlight glare is a problem that is getting worse with the increasingly powerful headlights of the latest cars. It is also compounded by the rapid increase in sports utility vehicles, where the headlights are higher off the road and can shine directly into the eyes of oncoming car users who are lower down.
Don't wear yellow tinted lenses at night
If you search the internet for "night driving glasses" or "clip on sunglasses for night driving", the majority of products on sale have yellow tinted lenses, some of them polarised.
They claim that the lenses reduce glare and increase contrast, making you see better. In fact the opposite is true. Wearing tinted lenses while driving at night reduces the amount of light reaching your eyes, and this actually impairs your vision.
The second claim that yellow lenses increase contrast at night is equally false.
Yes, the yellow tint filters out a certain range of wavelengths of blue UV light, which increases contrast but this only applies in daylight conditions when there is UV light.
In research studies, "night driving lenses" have been proved to provide no benefit in the wearer's ability to see at night. Studies have shown that they actually impair visual performance and slow down glare recovery.
What compounds the issue and confuses the wearer is that yellow lenses give the driver the impression of seeing better, when in fact the opposite is true.
When to wear yellow tinted lenses
Yellow tinted clip on sunglasses are a valuable driving aid in certain conditions.
Eyewear Accessories recommends the use of polarised yellow clip on sunglasses for driving in conditions of poor visibility during the daytime, such as mist, fog, haze and spray.
In these conditions, they do work effectively to improve your contrast and distance perception, contributing to road safety.
Make sure your prescription is up to date and that you have AR-coated lenses
Eyewear Accessories does not recommend the use of any tinted clip on sunglasses at night.
Instead, we recommend anyone who is experiencing blurred vision and excessive glare at night to get their eyes tested and to wear lenses with an Anti-Reflect coating.