Driving

Drivers need to call upon increasing use of sensory skills with the ever growing number of vehicles using our roads and vision provides approximately 95% of the sensory input to the brain required for driving.

In 1950 it was estimated that in the UK there were 4 million vehicles on the road – by 2016 this figure had risen to 36.7 million vehicles.

Many young people start to learn to drive without ever having had an eye examination and it is therefore vital to ensure that our vision meets the standards required by the DVLA before we start to drive.

With the average age of the population increasing it is also important to stress the effect that ageing has on the eye. Whilst older drivers benefit from the experience they have gained, they are also significantly affected by the reduced transmission of light through the optic media. It is therefore essential for the older driver to have a regular eye examination and to discuss the lens options and features that will benefit them and enhance their vision for driving. As we get older we can face difficulties with contrast sensitivity, light and dark adaptation, glare, colour perception and restricted field of view; and these difficulties are often exaggerated when driving at night.

When the eye is adapted to a specific light level then sources much more intense than the prevailing level produce “glare”. Night driving is the most common occurrence, when the eye is adapted to the dark but an oncoming headlight produces glare. It is also true that glare can be experienced during the day due to the high intensity of the sun. In older people, the natural age-induced clouding of the crystalline lens causes light entering the eye to scatter, which increases the glare dramatically.

An anti-reflection treatment to the lens can reduce glare significantly by allowing more light to pass through the lens without unwanted and nuisance reflections from the surface of the lens. This can help to reduce ghosting effects and haloing around lights when night driving, improve visual acuity and contrast, reduce eyestrain and fatigue, and improve the cosmetic appearance of spectacle lenses.

Polarised Lenses

Glare when driving during daylight hours is not just inconvenient - it is dangerous. Many drivers regularly take unnecessary risks, not because they drive too fast or ignore road signs, but because they fail to wear sunglasses with polarised lenses; which leaves even safe drivers vulnerable to the dangers of glare. Roads create glare when the sun reflects from the surface because they are in a horizontal plane to the driver’s eye. This polarising effect is increased when the road is wet and the sun is low in the sky, but in any conditions some glare can be present. The car’s interior compounds the problem, with glare being reflected from the dashboard onto the back surface of the windscreen.

The simple step of wearing sun protection with polarised lenses has been proven to improve visibility and reduce the risk of accidents.

Drivewear®

Traditionally a driver might have a clear pair of lenses and a polarised sunglasses for bright light conditions, but often this is no longer enough. Today our lives are strongly influenced by the car, which has changed the way that we experience the outdoors. We now need a third category of lenses in our modern, automobile-centered world.

Drivewear lenses are capable of sensing and reacting to varying light conditions both outside and behind the windscreen of the car. From bright sunlight accompanied by intense, blinding glare, to overcast inclement conditions, Drivewear lenses provide the wearer with the appropriate visual solution.

These lenses provide glare protection through polarisation and enhance and protect vision through photochromics, which respond to both visible and ultra-violet light. By combining the strengths of two of the most important technologies in eyewear today, Drivewear has been developed as the lens of tomorrow.

EnRoute driving lenses

Developed to meet all the visual demands of today’s motorists, EnRoute lenses for driving are equipped with a specially developed Glare Filter. This absorbs light in the blue spectrum, significantly reducing light scatter and distracting glare from the dashboard, streetlights and oncoming traffic. With the reflections gone, more light passes through your lenses, improving contrast and brightness. The result is more comfortable, relaxed vision even in stressful driving situations.

Sharp vision when it matters
Most driving time is spent looking ahead, which requires wide, clear visual fields. However, your eyes also have to shift quickly between different viewing distances with minimal head movements: from the road to the navigation device, from the mirrors to the dashboard. Focusing and refocusing can be especially challenging for older drivers.

EnRoute lenses for driving are available as single vision and progressive designs. Both designs offer wide visual fields and sharp vision in the far distance, of the dashboard and in mirrors. In addition, EnRoute Progressive lenses incorporate revolutionary Hoya technology that significantly reduces peripheral distortion and enables smooth, rapid switching between viewing zones.

EnRoute Pro
If you are a professional driver or spend long periods of time on the road, ask your optician about EnRoute Pro. It offers all the benefits of EnRoute as well as:

  • A contrast-enhancing filter for improved contrast and colour perception, and even better glare reduction
  • A lens design that considers both your visual needs and the viewing distance to the mirrors and dashboard, for a natural, relaxed driving posture**


Please contact your local branch of Rawlings Opticians for all the advice that you need on the best lens choices for your driving requirements.