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If you’re a driver, it’s important to have sunglasses on hand. Without them, the glare of the sunlight can be blinding and put you at risk for an accident. Not all sunglasses are made equal, however, so a pair you have now may not be ideal for when you go for a drive.
What Type of Sunglasses Are Good for Driving?
There are many factors that determine what makes a pair of sunglasses safe for driving. Different lenses let in different amounts of light. When searching for the best sunglasses for driving, there are four or five category labels. The categories rate glare reduction. For European shades, you will see them labeled 1-4. The lowest number allows the most light. Category 4 glasses are not suitable for driving because they’re too dark, according to Professor Dr. Thomas Neuhann, who consulted with BMW on driving glasses. The in-between is dependent on your preference. As for UV protection, 100% UV protection is your safest choice so you don’t risk burning your eyes.
The tint of your shades are also important. The best tints for driving are grey, amber, and copper-tinted lenses because they maintain color distinction. Light green, blue, red, and pink can distort important colors, which are crucial for seeing traffic lights.
Are Polarized Sunglasses Suitable for Driving?
Polarized sunglasses help reduce glare, but experts have noted that they are not necessarily essential for driving sunglasses.
Their usefulness can be impaired depending on the angle of the sun. They’re especially good for sunny days to reduce reflecting light. According to Everyday Health, they’re not ideal for motorcyclists because the polarization filter and darkening effect can make it hard to distinguish details of the road, like if it’s wet.
What Are the Best Sunglasses for Driving?
The best sunglasses for driving will keep your eyes protected from harmful UV rays while you’re behind the wheel, while eliminating glare and keeping your focus on the road.
Look for comfortable frames that sit naturally — but not too tight — against your face. And choose lenses that protect you from UV rays, with an anti-glare coating, and a gray or amber tint. Also, don’t pick a frame that’s too thick. This way, you don’t obstruct your peripheral view, which is crucial to driving safely.
Below, we selected our top picks for sunglasses that are safe for driving.
1. Persol 2445S
This stylish but classic round pair by Persol is crafted out of lightweight metal. The legs have a tortoise color, and the brownish gold lenses are polarized for ultimate glare reduction. You can also purchase these with a prescription on Glasses USA.com, which are currently available at a reduced price.
2. Ray-Ban RB3025 Aviator
The RB3025 model by Ray-Ban is its iconic Aviators that were originally created in 1937 for U.S. pilots to help reduce glare. This top-rated style was the beginning of Ray Ban’s success and continues to be an iconic silhouette today. These driving sunglasses are also made with metal frames and polarized brown/gold lenses, so they fit the safe driving sunglasses criteria. Customers have noted its high quality and good fit.
3. Raider Brushed Ink Aviators
Aviators may be the best kind of sunglasses for driving, but they also have a timeless, cool style. Warby Parker’s grey-lensed Aviators are vintage-inspired and made out of high-quality materials for exceptional durability. You can purchase these as prescription or non-prescription–prescription lenses made from polycarbonate, which is the most impact-resistant material for sunglasses. The non-prescription lenses are made from CR-39 for maximum clarity and color. The lenses are also scratch-resistant and anti-reflective with 100% UV ray protection.
4. Oakley Men’s Crosshair Metal Aviator Sunglasses
Oakley’s polarized Crosshair Metal Aviator Sunglasses are another great option for driving shades. Its Plutonite lenses provide 100% UV Protection filtering of all UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light up to 400mm. They also have a PRIZM Lens Technology to enhance color, contrast, and detail. These are made for bright light conditions, so they’re optimal for driving on sunny days. The frame is metal, and the lens are plastic.
5. Gucci Aviator-Style Gold-Tone Sunglasses
For a high-fashion choice with no frills, Gucci’s Gold Aviator-Style shades are oversized but lightweight. The glasses are crafted with a thin gold frame and brown lenses to reduce glare. They also have 100% UV protection. These might be ideal for those whose eyes aren’t as sensitive to light but still seek protection from the sun while driving. Also: they’re great even when you’re not driving too, working as fashionable frames for the beach, dinner or a day out.
6. Ray-Ban Men’s Rb3548n Hexagonal Round Sunglasses
If you don’t want Aviators, Ray-Ban’s hexagonal sunglasses are suitable because they still provide a lot of coverage around the eyes without being too big or distracting. This pair in Gunmetal/Grey Gradient Dark Grey will still provide plenty of protection from the sun even though they’re not polarized. Gradient lenses are darker at the top, so the sun will not be blinding, and progressively get lighter at the bottom. These shades also have a UV protection coating that protects 100%.
7. RIVBOS Polarized Sports Driving Shades
Our sportiest choice, this affordable pair by RIVBOS has over 13,000 positive reviews. One reviewer noted that they’re a professional driver, and this pair fully protected him from glaring reflections of his dashboard. The lenses are TAC polarized and have a mirror coating. They offer 100% UVA and UVB protection against the sunlight while restoring true color.