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Safety guide - How a pair of sunglasses can ensure safe driving?

Snapshot: Sunglasses are great source to cut glare when driving, which means better visibility and keeping you and co-passengers safe on the road.

Indian driving conditions are considered to be the worst in the world. If one can deal with irregular traffic, he has to live with harsh climate also. Extreme brightness, distracting reflections and glare from a low sun can impair visibility when driving. Also the dry winds that have a tendency to carry dust with them that can go in your eyes and affect your driving. If drivers are dazzled in bright sunlight, the risk of accidents increases. Sunglasses help you protect from all these elements. So take out time while buying quality sunglasses. The best protection comes from polarized or mirrored lenses, to protect your eyes from most of the harmful UV rays. Sunglasses also protect from dust, debris and wind, which is important for drivers driving convertibles or even bikers. They act as wind barrier and reduce the rate of tear evaporation and keep eyes moister. What should be considered when buying sunglasses? Which one is right for you and what should you avoid? We asked experts.

Why is it important to wear sunglasses while driving?
If there is strong sunlight, it is necessary to wear sunglasses. Sunglasses help in reducing the amount of glare and prevent bright mirror images from distracting and thus avoid accidents from happening. On a bright day, if the amount of light reaching the retina becomes too severe, the retina cannot close enough to reduce the amount of light entering the eye. This results in squinting of eyes, which causes headaches and nausea.  Therefore sunglasses protect against light and avoid squinting.

What needs to be kept in mind when buying sunglasses?
The UV protection should be the first and foremost priority for any buyer. The colour of the lens is not important but the sunglasses must block 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B rays. Make sure the sunglasses are labelled "UV-40". When buying opt for polarised as they help in reducing the glare from surfaces like glass and snow.

Is colour important and what colour lenses should the driver consider before buying?
Tint on a glass is important because it absorbs light when it passes through it. Neutral grey, yellow and brown are recommended best for driving. Yellow lens enhance the difference in contour and have brightening effect in low light levels. Though blue, pink and green colours are not considered for driving.

How good are anti-glare sunglasses?
Anti-glare sunglasses are good because they help in getting rid-off glare coming directly from sunlight. They  eliminate reflections of light from the front and back of the lens. Antiglare are also good for night driving.

Is it important if the glasses are made of plastic or glass?
It does not matter what material it is, but plastic lenses are lighter and more stable than the glass lenses.

What happens if wrong sunglasses are worn for long?
If wrong glasses are worn for longer period of time it can cause serious eye issues. It can cause retinal damage, degeneration of the macula, or even cataract. It can also lead to muscular pain in the eyes. UV light can also cause cataract and muscular degeneration.

Tips to keep in mind:
Always buy sunglasses that are made of polycarbonate and are unbreakable. Ensure the glasses fit right and protect the eyes from all sides. Even though many contact lenses have some degree of UV protection, it is still important to wear sunglasses when outdoors. Not only adults need protection against sunlight, even kids require protection. Remember to buy a good pair of sunglasses for kids as well.

You may also like Driving guide - How to reduce glare when driving at night?

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