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Night Driving Glasses? Help or Hoax?

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Editor's Note: As an older driver I wish that I could once again see at night like I did when I was 20 and assigned "Squad Point" during my infantry units night back then I saw like a cat-at-night...well no more. So I was excited to find an easy method to removing 62 years of eye use (so they say) and once again be cat like at night, but before I bought, I researched and below is what I learned. Spoiler Alert: If any of you eye glass guys out there wish to dispute these findings please e me and I will be happy to publish your data and set up a peer reviewed scientifically measured evaluation of nighttime vision improvement using 6 of our older driving writers.


What researchers say about night driving glasses

Special To The Auto Channel

Researchers at Harvard’s Schepens Eye Research Institute recently conducted a study. The study aimed to find out whether night driving glasses provided any visual benefit for nighttime driving.

All 22 of the participants “drove” in four simulated night-driving conditions. They wore either yellow-tinted night driving glasses or glasses with clear lenses. Each participant also drove in scenarios with and without a headlight glare simulator activated. The goal was to mimic the effect of oncoming traffic.

In each scenario, participants’ reaction time to seeing a pedestrian along the simulated roadway was measured.

The study found that night driving glasses did not appear to improve:

  • How well participants detected pedestrians at night.

  • The negative effects of headlight glare on pedestrian detection.

“Our data suggest that wearing yellow-lens glasses when driving at night does not improve performance. Particularly in the most critical task: detection of pedestrians,” the study’s authors said.

In fact, the results found “that wearing yellow-lens glasses may slightly worsen performance.” But the finding “was not statistically significant.”

“These findings do not appear to support having eye care professionals advise patients to use yellow-lens night-driving glasses,” the authors concluded.

The best glasses for night driving

Start by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor. Many people who think their vision is fine are surprised to find out how much clearer they can see at night with new glasses. Even a small amount of refractive error correction can make a noticeable difference.

On the other hand, if you need prescription eyeglasses because you have nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, choose clear corrective lenses with an anti-reflective (AR) coating.

These lenses:

  • Allow almost 100% of visible light to enter your eyes.

  • Let your eyes focus properly on the road and other obstacles at night.

  • Reduce or cut the glare-causing reflections of streetlights and headlights within your lenses.

  • Offer the best possible vision for your eyes, since they’re based on your individual prescription.

Some people might wonder if they should buy clear lenses with AR coating for night driving even if they have no need for vision correction. The answer is no; AR coating only reduces the glare caused by the eyeglass lenses themselves. There is no visual benefit to wearing non-prescription lenses with AR coating.