What are the rules regarding wearing sunglasses while driving?
There is a lot to consider when driving under challenging weather conditions.
It is inevitable that drivers will occasionally be confronted with lightning blaring through their windows, whether it is during the summer when the sun is hot, or during the winter when the sun reflects off of crisp white snow.
It is typically recommended that drivers wear driving sunglasses in order to combat bright lights.
When wearing sunglasses while driving, are there any rules about what types are allowed?
Is it possible to wear sunglasses while driving?
Driving while wearing sunglasses is permissible.
The UK’s Highway Code, however, requires its drivers to slow down or stop “if necessary” if they are dazzled by bright sunlight.
When the weather is sunny, it is essential to ensure your vision is not impaired by bright light or glare
Furthermore, certain sunglasses are not suitable for driving, so you should follow the rules regarding their use.
It is recommended that your driving sunglasses should meet the following specifications, according to a guide published by the AA, based on recommendations from the Optical Suppliers Association (formerly the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians).
The CE safety mark should be displayed
The lens filters meet the European Standard BS EN 1836:2005
Ensure that your peripheral vision is not blocked by covering your eyelids
The tint should allow enough light through to allow you to see – i.e., it should not be too dark, but still allow sufficient light to filter through.
How appropriate are your sunglasses for driving?
Similarly, sunglasses and their lenses are also ranked from zero to four (and are required to be marked accordingly) according to their ability to transmit light.
Keeping this in mind is essential as category four sunglasses are classified as ‘very dark’, making them ineligible for use while driving during the day or at night.
An explanation of sunglasses categories
Zero category – No or very light tint, with 80% to 100% light transmission
Category one – Light tint, with light transmission rates ranging from 43% to 80%
Category two – Medium tint, with a light transmission of 18% to 43%
Category three – Dark tint, with 8% to 18% light transmission
Fourth category – A very dark tint with 3% to 8% light transmission
When you purchase sunglasses in category four, you should specifically note that they are not designed for use on the road or while driving.
Sunglasses purchased for fashion purposes may be included in this category.
The categories one through three of sunglasses (light, medium, dark tints) are not suitable for nighttime driving, but are acceptable during the day. Yellow-tinted sunglasses are not suitable for nighttime driving.
A driver may experience sun glare in the winter, autumn, or spring as well as during the summer
For daytime driving, the AA recommends category two sunglasses, known as medium tint sunglasses.
Furthermore, tinted sunglasses can be divided into two types: variable tint and fixed tint.
The use of variable tint sunglasses while driving is not recommended, although some do. Fixed tint sunglasses are recommended for driving, particularly those with polarised lenses because they reduce glare.
If you do not have a prescription, you should speak to an optician before making any purchases to ensure the driving sunglasses you purchase are safe for the road.
Is it possible to wear sunglasses while driving at night?
In low-light conditions, sunglasses can make it more difficult for you to see. Sunglasses reduce the amount of sunlight reaching your eyes, making it more difficult to see. Driving at night can be particularly dangerous due to a reduction in visibility, making it more hazardous. For optimal visibility at night, it is best to wear clear, untinted eyewear.
Some areas prohibit the wearing of tinted lenses at night unless medically necessary. Additionally, tints are extremely counterproductive. You need a lot of light for your eyes to see clearly. Any tint will reduce the amount of light you receive, so no matter what you choose, you are compromising your vision. It is never a good idea to wear tints at night.