There is an extremely common and potentially dangerous misconception that wearing yellow polarized glasses makes it easier to drive at night. The reasoning behind this misconception is that the yellow color reduces glare. The reality, though, is that this tinting actually reduces how much light is able to be transmitted to the eye, impairing vision.
What Are the Hazards of Yellow Glasses?
Not only have yellow night driving glasses been proven to provide no benefit when it comes to seeing better at night, but they have also been shown to be more hazardous. Drivers who wear them often report a sense of being able to see better, which leads them to drive in conditions they would otherwise avoid. This can be extremely dangerous.
What Are They Good For?
Yellow lenses can make it easier to see in hazy or foggy conditions during daylight hours. That’s it. They do not stop the glare from headlights and they do not improve contrast, actually reducing drivers’ ability to see darker portions of roads.
Is There a Better Solution?
While yellow tinted glasses certainly don’t provide any benefits when it comes to improving night driving, there are clear lenses coated with AR coating that do. This coating minimizes internal reflections, which helps to reduce light halos and increase how much light is being transmitted to the eye.
Who Can Benefit from AR Coated Glasses?
These types of Driving Glasses are not intended for those who don’t ordinarily wear prescription glasses. They don’t actually improve night vision. They simply help to reduce the interference of normal ophthalmic lenses on night vision while driving.
How Can Readers Improve Night Driving Vision?
Those who wear glasses do have a few means of improving their nighttime driving vision at their disposal. Most importantly, they should ensure that they head in for their routine eye exams and wear up-to-date prescriptions whenever they drive. They should also take a moment before buckling in to ensure that their lenses are clear of any smudges, dust, or scratches and may want to look into the AR coated lenses described above.
Those who do not ordinarily wear glasses should still be sure to have their vision examined regularly by a specialist. They should also make sure that their windshields are clean and in a state of good repair and that their headlights are both clean and correctly aligned.
Those who dispense ophthalmic lenses have a responsibility to discourage the use of yellow tinted or polarized glasses at night. They should suggest glasses for night driving to their patients that actually provide proven benefits and should not participate in the marketing of yellow tinted glasses by irresponsible lens manufacturers.