m
Recent Posts
Connect with:
Tuesday / July 16.
HomemilensesDriving Options For Safety, Comfort and Eye Health

Driving Options For Safety, Comfort and Eye Health

Many Aussies and Kiwis enjoy a good road trip. Dedicated driving glasses can make such a trip safer and more enjoyable, as they do for many other everyday uses and applications.

Drivers in Australia and New Zealand experience diverse conditions, among them disturbing glare from snow, desert sand, beaches, concrete highways, and reflections off wet roads. Driving into tunnels, bright LED headlights, taillights and signs, digital dashboards, heads-up displays and, of course, the dreaded sunstrike, are further challenges. And then there is night driving.

…driving specific lenses may include clear lenses with special coatings, light tints, specific photochromic qualities, polarisation and even aberration control

To cope with these situations and more, manufacturers have developed sophisticated driving eyewear and lenses that provide advantages well beyond regular sunglasses.

Such driving specific lenses may include clear lenses with special coatings, light tints, specific photochromic qualities, polarisation, and even aberration control.

The options are not limited to drivers of cars and trucks; the needs of cyclists and motorcyclists – who have many visual challenges – have also been taken into consideration. Of course, frame fit is equally important for cyclists and motorbike riders – we need to test fit any choices to ensure they sit comfortably under a full-face helmet. Some riders prefer a rimless frame with fine temples for this purpose. Cyclists may look for wrap frames and those designed to prevent disturbing, extraneous light ‘leaking’ between the frame, brow, and cheeks.

The category of ‘driving lenses’ was popularised by Serengeti with its Corningdeveloped ‘Drivers’ lenses, and stylish frames. Now part of the Boll. group, these brands continue the driving category and are also big in the cycling field. Porsche Design, Carrera, C.b., Scott, and Rudi Project are some of the many other brands that have leveraged our passion for driving and cycling, harnessing specific eyewear, styling, and lens options.

DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGY

As mentioned, it’s not all about sunglasses. Cyclists might have a clear pair for protection and low illumination. Truck drivers, and other long distance night drivers, might choose lenses that keep their eyes more relaxed, manage glare, help them see their GPS and instruments, and see what they’re doing on breaks when eating, reading, paying for fuel and so on.

For some years now, Zeiss has offered its DriveSafe lenses, Rodenstock its Road lenses and Hoya its EnRoute driving lenses in progressive and single vision form, with or without tinting or polarised options.

Rodenstock Road2 can be enhanced by DNEye-derived higher order aberration (HOA) correction. Zeiss also offers its i.Scription aberration technology, as does Essilor with its W.A.V.E 2.0 technology.

Some companies promote ‘night driving glasses’, sometimes with a light-yellow tint. Vuarnet even had a range of Formula 1 legend, Alain Prost, branded frames and lenses for driving and night driving. When it comes to yellow filters for night driving, it seems the jury is still out on the pros and cons.

There is also debate as to the benefits of including HOA control in spectacle lenses, but some people swear by it. The benefit for night driving (as the pupil dilates in low light), is that these aberrometers measure – and lenses then correct – the potentially increased HOAs.

Many patients love their photochromic glasses that adapt to the conditions.

For drivers, some of the best options are Transitions Driveware and XTRActive, as these specific versions darkens behind car widescreens.

Polarised lenses, which reduce glare off dashboards, bonnets, bright concrete, and wet roads, are always in demand. To avoid comebacks, always test polarised lenses with a wearer’s screens and heads-up displays.

Oakley’s Prizm Road, available in many plano and Rx combinations with the company’s specialised tints and polarised options is popular, as is Maui Jim’s high-tech Rx-able driving sunglass, featuring PolarizedPlus2 technology with enhanced colour contrast, and exceptional clarity. mivision’s September 2022 article explored this brand’s labs and culture in great depth.

There are also drivers’ sunglasses with a veritable kaleidoscope of fantastic, cool, reflective mirror coatings – from bright orange to cobalt blue, double mirrors, and rainbow gradients – in the plano market as well as in single vision and progressive Rx forms.

Special lens designs reduce distortions, while base curve options cater for ‘wrap’ style eyewear – helping to minimise the effect of the peripheral light focussing effect, which has been linked to pterygium.

All sunglasses in the ANZ region block UV, by law, and specialised clear pairs for cycling, etc. also include UV blocking.

SPOILT FOR CHOICE

Some companies offer a one-stop option with complete, proprietary driving frames and lenses. Other companies, like Australia’s own Ugly Fish, partner with leading multinational and local lens labs to provide complete frame and lens Rx packages.

Spotters – another home-grown company – has been providing sunglasses designed for harsh conditions for over 23 years. Part of the philosophy that drives Spotters is manifest in the company’s statement, “We fish, hike, bike, and camp. If it has an engine, we’ll drive it, on road or off road. We thrive on long weekends, spending time with family and hanging out with friends. We love nothing more than experiencing the wonders Australia has to offer”.

All these considerations are worth discussing with patients. Some smart practitioners have developed a thriving business catering for specific categories, like cyclists. It particularly helps if you have an enthusiastic optometrist, dispenser, or staff member on board, who wears driving or cycling eyewear, and can demonstrate and speak about the styles, technology, and options, from personal experience.

Regardless, ensuring your team is well informed about the options is a critical step.

Check out some of the myriad options in the following product section.

Frames for Comfort on the Road

Land Rover

From contemporary stainless-steel frames to retro inspired round eye models, Land Rover Eyewear brings a comprehensive, dispenserfriendly offering to the eyewear market. With extensive, award-winning experience, the team designs eyewear using the very latest material innovations, including sustainable and premium recycled components, alongside trend-led colour palettes and brand-faithful, bespoke componentry.

Contact: Aaron’s Eyewear (AUS) 07 3367 8447

Maui Jim

Great vision is the key to safe driving. High-tech driving sunglasses featuring PolarizedPlus2 lenses eliminate glare consistent with hazardous driving conditions, like wet pavements, snow, and blinding sun. Equip your patients to drive safely in premium, colour-enhancing polarised sunglasses that not only protect their eyes from harmful UV rays, but also offer incomparable colour contrast, exceptional clarity, and vivid detail. Pictured is ‘The Bird’ from Maui Jim’s premium polarised sunglasses range.

Contact: Maui Jim (AUS) 02 9452 5575

AM Eyewear

AM Eyewear brings Carl Zeiss yellow gradient lenses to its new SS23 range, complementing the edgy crystal hues of the Miami inspired collection, these lenses enhance depth perception and reduce glare from oncoming traffic.

Contact: AM Eyewear (AUS) 02 9357 4550

Police

SPLF12, an iconic best seller worn by Mercedes-AMG F1 driver George Russell for the whole season, is a bold, retro-future design inspired by Police’s recognised qualities of confidence, simplicity and timeless style. This frame will provide your patients with comfort and safety on the road.

Contact: De Rigo (AUS) 02 9428 1500

Owden

Double standard by Owden is designed for driving. With large lenses and thin arms, these sunglasses are good for maintaining peripheral vision while providing protection from the sun. Double standard lenses deliver a natural centre of vision and enhance colour contrast.

Owden is made in Japan by Yusuke Kimura.

Contact: Minerva Optics (AUS) 0478 957 010 

OverSpex

OverSpex is an effective, comfortable, and affordable, over-the-top eyewear range that has been manufactured to meet worldwide sunglass standards and provide a solution to the intense Australian sun.

Complementing today’s fashionable and stylish designs with an optimal fit, OverSpex come with premium Os-VUE polarised lenses to minimise glare, optimise clarity, and provide 100% UV protection, as well as impressive scratch resistance. Available in smoke, brown, and amber tints (selected models).

Contact: Optica Life Accessories (AUS) 1800 199 860 or (NZ) 0508 963 333

Mako

Mako Eyewear’s high definition G2H5 lens is a leading lens for outdoor activities, including driving. Incorporating rare earth metals to filter unwanted yellow and orange wavelengths of light, this lens enhances red, blue, and green light, and delivers a distance view that is clearer than what is achievable with the naked eye.

With internal mirrors and crown glass construction, this crisp, clear lens is extremely scratch resistant. A rose base enables the polarised lens to be worn during both cloudy and sunny days. G2H5 is also available in glass prescription, in both six and eight base, single vision and multifocal. Available in 12 different frame options.

Contact: Mondottica (AUS) 02 8436 6666

Carrera

Carrera was established in 1956 by Wilhelm Anger, who named his sport goggles company after the Carrera Panamericana, a Mexican open road 3,000+ kilometre racing event. Through innovation and technological advancement, the brand moved into eyewear with styles that perfectly combined highperformance technologies with sports-led design and unwavering durability.

Carrera is regularly worn by celebrities. Paul Newman notably loyally wore the Carrera ‘Champion’ style throughout his more than 35-year racing career. With one of the largest eyewear archives in the world, designers at the Safilo Design Centre in Padua, Italy, take inspiration from the popular styles of the past and apply new technologies and eyewear trends to ensure the brand continues to appeal to those who live life by their own rules.

Contact: Safilo Account Manager 

Lenses for Sharp Optics on the Road

Essilor

Transitions XTRActive New Generation and Transitions XTRActive Polarized lenses darken in the car to reduce glare while driving. When driving, Transitions XTRActive lenses achieve Category 2 behind a windscreen. In wearer tests, 86% of participants were very satisfied with their overall vision experience in the car. In summer, when glare is at its peak, Transitions XTRActive New Generation is the only photochromic lens to achieve Category 3 sunglass at 35ÅãC. Transitions XTRActive New Generation and Transitions XTRActive Polarized lenses adapt to light behind the wheel and outdoors, helping remove glare, including reflected glare off the road and car bonnet, for a picture-perfect drive.

Contact: EssilorLuxottica Account Manager

Transitions

Unlike regular photochromic lenses, the Transitions XtrActive range of lenses is designed to activate in the car and provide extra darkness in bright sunlight.

Transitions XtrActive new generation lenses are the darkest photochromic lenses in the car. They are the only clear to dark photochromic lenses to achieve Category 2 lens darkness behind the windscreen.

Transitions XtrActive Polarized also darkens in the car – up to Category 2 lens darkness. Featuring dynamic polarisation, the lens also polarises and darkens in bright sunlight.

Visit: www.transitions.com

VSP Optics

VSP Optics’ photochromic solutions include SunSync Light-Reactive and SunSync Drive XT.

Original SunSync is a conventional light-reactive lens that gives you everything you want in a base lens that’s anything but basic: dark outdoor colour, excellent indoor clarity, fast reaction times, superior temperature stability, 100% UV protection, and outstanding durability in one stylish package.

SunSync Drive XT combines the benefits of in-car activation with all the advantages of SunSync Light-Reactive lenses.

Both SunSync Light-Reactive and SunSync Drive XT are backed by a one-year, 100% satisfaction guarantee, allowing you and your patients to try them risk free for 12 months.

Contact: VSP Optics (AUS) 1800 251 025

Hoya

Hoya polarised lenses are perfect for long drives with annoying glare on the road, or long days at the beach. They are available in an expanded range of designs and coating combinations, including seven mirror coatings and the new Hi-Vision Sun Pro coating.

Hi-Vision Sun Pro improves the appearance of prescription sunglass lenses by eliminating unwanted colour reflections and ghost images on the front and back lens surfaces. This provides the wearer with greatly improved contrast and clarity of vision.

For those driving at night, EnRoute lenses minimise stress on the visual system and provide a more relaxed driving experience.

EnRoute lenses offer:

  • Improved contrast and brightness in low-light conditions, fog, and rain,
  • Clear, unimpaired vision of the dashboard, in mirrors, and into the far distance, and
  • Smooth, fast switching of focus between different distances.

EnRoute Pro for professional drivers offers an additional contrast enhancing filter.

Contact: Hoya Sales Consultant

Zeiss

Zeiss DriveSafe Lenses are optimised for driving. These lenses will help your patients enjoy better vision at night or in difficult weather conditions, protect their eyes from reflections, and make it easier for them to shift their viewing focus – quickly and often.

Available in single vision and progressive lens designs, a combination of lens designs and coatings have been specifically developed to give drivers accurate vision on the road and reduce glare from oncoming vehicles.

Contact: Zeiss Account Manager

Younger Optics

Combining the benefits of photochromic and fixed polarisation, Transitions Drivewear provides an optimal vision experience and colour contrast while driving.

The world’s only sunglass lens that changes to three different colours – olive, copper and dark brown – Transitions Drivewear was developed by ophthalmologists and optometrists by combining Transitions photochromic technology with NuPolar polarisation.

Transitions Drivewear provides comfort and safety on the road by protecting against rapidly changing bright light conditions and reflective glare, allowing for faster recognition and quicker reaction times. It also offers dynamic contrast by increasing peripheral vision.

Contact: Younger Optics (AUS) 08 8241 9800 

Rodenstock

Rodenstock Road lenses are specially designed to have particularly large fields of vision over long distances for unrestricted views, even when looking through the periphery of the lens.

The special design results in extraordinarily high image stability, allowing for quick shifts in focus and head movements, even in critical situations. An extensive intermediate range of vision allows for clear and easy viewing of dashboard and mirrors.

When combined with Solitaire Protect Road coating (also available with X-tra Clean) this lens is highly suitable for people who spend a lot of time behind the wheel.

Contact: Rodenstock (AUS) 02 9748 0988 

Shamir

Shamir’s complete range of lenses is available in sun wear and safety variations, with a wide range of photochromatic, mirrored, and reflective coatings.

With plenty of colours and styles available, these lenses are more than just functional – they let your patients customise their look and make a statement to suit the day and their outfit, without sacrificing on visual performance or safety.

Visit: www.shamir.com/au