Your life and eyes 3 min read

Prepare yourself for winter driving with the right lenses

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With winter finally here, the cold and dark weather conditions can make many simple tasks much more difficult. The winter months bring the threat of snow and ice, as well as darker mornings and evenings, which can make driving a daunting prospect. In particular, your vision can be affected by wintry conditions which can be detrimental when on the road.

This year make sure you’re prepared by wearing lenses that are optimised perfectly for providing sharp, clear vision throughout the day.

Poor visibility in winter

The weather during the winter season can make it difficult to see clearly, whether it’s due to dark early mornings, reflections from oncoming headlights or snowy conditions. It can become near impossible to see pedestrians, and other cars may not be as obvious or can even be distracting due to the glare.

For these reasons, it’s important that you do everything you can to enable better clarity of vision.

Unclear windscreen due to rain and snow

If you already wear glasses for driving, it’s crucial that you are wearing the right prescription as well as considering any lens enhancements that can help your lenses perform better. Make sure you have a regular eye exam to ensure your prescription is up to date, every 2 years or more often if recommended by your optician.

Varifocal lenses for driving

Varifocal lenses are the ideal solution for those who suffer from presbyopia, as they can accommodate and enhance near and far vision zones as well as everything in between. When you are driving you will find that you are regularly looking into the distance anticipating any hazards, as well as closer up in order to see information on your dashboard. This can be much more difficult in winter.

Varilux Road Pilot lenses, in particular, have been designed to deliver a better experience behind the wheel. Road Pilot lenses offer large fields of distance vision so you don’t miss a thing also making it easier for you to spot important things in your periphery. At the same time, your dashboard and dials can be seen clearly thanks to an enhanced intermediate field of vision.

When it comes to driving in darkness, which will no doubt occur through the winter, Varilux Road Pilot lenses can be combined with lens technologies and enhancements for safer and more confident driving. This includes lens coatings.

Lens coatings for driving

Driving in winter can also be difficult because of road conditions causing reflections and glare, due to other cars and streetlights. Coatings like Crizal Drive will help to create safer driving by reducing reflections(1) on your lenses and it’s scratch and smudge resistance properties will ensure your lenses stay clean and clear for improved clarity.

Having a lens coating for driving can ensure that every journey is a pleasure rather than an inconvenience.

You can find out more ways to maximise your vision on the road by taking our vision and road safety quiz.

Low sun

Even in winter, you'll face bright sunlight when on the road and with the sun being much lower during this time of year it can be much more distracting and dazzling. When the sun reflects off of horizontal surfaces such as the road, bonnets, ice and other flat surfaces it results in blinding glare. If your commute is during the hours of low sunlight it's important to have prescription sunglasses to tackle this. Polarised sun lenses eliminate blinding glare for improved comfort and safety when on the road, perfect for keeping in your car during winter.

Man blinded by light while driving due to low sun

Other tips for driving in winter

Other advice to help you stay safe when driving in the winter includes making sure your tyres have at least 3mm of tread and taking it slower in challenging conditions. Stopping distances can be 10 times longer, so it’s important to take gentle manoeuvres if you’re driving in ice and snow. Consider pulling away in second gear, and use brakes gently when necessary.

It’s essential that you plan your trip carefully, and always have emergency supplies with you in case of a delay or breakdown. This should include a blanket, de-icer, a torch and even snacks.

Above all, don’t travel without your glasses. You could be prosecuted for driving without meeting the standards, and you could put both yourself and others at risk.

Ultimate guide to driving lenses

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(1) Up to 90% less reflections when driving at night vs. a standard hard coat lens with no anti-reflective coating 

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