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What are night driving glasses? Do they work and should you buy them?

DRIVING at night can feel completely different to driving in the daytime, and roads that you regularly drive can sometimes seem almost alien. It doesn’t help that it’s easy to get dazzled when driving at night – an oncoming car might have its main beam headlights on, or have modern xenon or LED headlights.

One of the ways you can try to combat this distraction while driving at night is to get special glasses. Make sure you don’t confuse night driving glasses with night vision goggles – they’re very different things. Night vision goggles use infrared to help you see when it’s almost pitch black, while night driving glasses use yellow lenses to help reduce glare and dazzle from bright lights.

Yellow-tinted lenses are used because they’re said to reduce the brightness of white lights, and some are polarised — like many sunglasses — to get rid of unwanted reflections. Most night driving glasses are yellow as it has a minimal impact on the colour spectrum, so they shouldn’t be too distracting or different. The addition of a yellow tint is thought to boost contrast as well.

Night driving glasses don’t tend to come with prescriptions or varying strengths. They’re larger than normal spectacles to allow you to wear them over your normal glasses, just like you would with safety glasses.

What are the benefits of night driving glasses?

Some people swear by these glasses, and manufacturers will tell you that they’re proven to reduce glare and dazzling lights. You’ll probably need to test them out to see if they work for you, but fortunately they’re not too expensive. Most versions cost between £10-£15, and you might decide that this is a bargain if they help you to feel safer and more confident when driving in darkness.

Should I buy night driving glasses?

While there may be advantages to these glasses, none are scientifically proven so, in some ways, they’re hard to recommend. The yellow tint may be able to help you see better, but sometimes it can actually have the opposite effect. At times, you may not be able to see quite as clearly with the glasses on – it can be like wearing sunglasses at night, although not to the same extent.

To see if there’s anything you can do to reduce how often you get dazzled when driving at night, your first port of call should be to speak to an optician or a doctor. Perhaps take an eye test and, if you do need glasses, choose a pair with an anti-reflective coating. This coating can help your eyes to be less affected by glare, and reduces the reflection from the lenses.

What else can I do to help with driving at night?

Unwanted glare can be magnified through thin films of dirt and grease, so make sure your windscreen and glasses are crystal clear. Cleaning your windscreen can reduce the effect of super-bright headlights, which might make night driving glasses unnecessary.

So that you’re not blinding other drivers, make sure your headlights are adjusted correctly. Having them adjusted wrong is an instant MOT test fail, but your local auto parts store or garage should be able to do it for you. Alternatively, check your car’s handbook – it should tell you how to adjust them yourself.

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