There has been a recent flurry of advertising surrounding the phenomenon of “Driver wear” eyewear. At FRAMEFIXERS.COM we receive inquires almost daily regarding this group of lenses. This phenomenon is not really new, although there are clearly new optical products within this category. Lenses, both prescription and non-prescription, that heightened the differentiation of detail at dusk pre-date the American Civil War. Patents for glass lenses with a yellow or amber tint sought to enhance the perception of details at dusk or early dawn existed in the 1700s. There were many questionable early claims for lenses that allowed carriage and horseback travelers to see better in foggy conditions.
Clay shooters, aiming at orange colored clay target popularized the use of amber colored lenses from the 1930s to the present. Some, like Bausch and Lombs Ambermatics, were also photo chromic, changing in density as the sunlight increased or declined. Modern driver wear is center around the newer increased knowledge and ability of coatings to enhance the eyes’ ability to perceive detail in dim light. Simple yellow lenses have been further enhanced with coatings in the Vermillion and Orange range, that combine to sharpen detail much in the same way polarized lenses enhance the ability to see through glare and reflection.
Many modern driver assisting lenses are in fact laminated multiple layers of polarized layers, bonded to photo chromic layers that darken with sunlight, and then bonded to color laminates like yellow, red and orange that intensify as dusk approaches and extended to detail perception ability of drivers in darkening conditions.
Much of the “driver-wear” experience is subjective.
One of the most important personal characterizes for any driver to evaluate is their own “squint reflex”. People vary greatly in their squint reaction to facing sunlight, and this fatigue producing phenomenon should be highly ranked for consideration when choosing lenses for the task of extended driving. One should also be aware that many modern windshields contain filers that will defeat many modern photo chromic lenses. Therefore, whether one is trying to reduce squint by shielding the eyes against light and glare, or enhancing detail perception in dusk conditions, be certain to take in to consideration the effect of your particular windshield on you choice of “driving lenses”. We are able to custom design driver wear glasses to meet your specifications.