Fashion sense or common sense?
I do try to stay with the times. I understand how important it is to stay current. I wear clothes that are new, I drive a current model car and I often use the current phrases during conversations. Let’s face it, many people have to look good and as the saying goes; if you look good, you feel good. Does this also apply to wearing sunglasses?
I’ve witnessed over my many years how sunglasses have changed and changed and changed again. At Young Drivers of Canada, we teach our students how to use their eyes effectively and we also need to evaluate that skill. We have a small mirror off to the side that is focused on the eyes of the driver. We can tell when they check their mirror, when they scan the intersection and even when they make faces at us. There’s only one thing that stops us from doing that job accurately; sunglasses.
I used to keep an extra pair of sunglasses in my car in case a student forgot theirs at home. When I put these sunglasses into the car originally, they were stylish. After a few years, they lost their appeal. I remember when a student of mine forgot their sunglasses; I offered them this extra pair to wear for our lesson. They refused and said they would rather squint. Not a good solution for the driver, so they ended up wearing these glasses to shield the sun from their eyes, but asked that we don’t drive near their friends.
Sunglasses today are very fashionable. The current problem is the framing of many of the glasses is thick enough that it blocks part of their vision. The driver has a difficult time seeing off to their side in their peripheral vision. Other drivers can sneak up beside them without the driver knowing. It also stops the driver from seeing clearly at intersections for pedestrians or cyclists. These stylish sunglasses narrow the driver’s view too much and make driving more difficult.
When you decide on your sunglasses, make sure you look good, but make sure you can also see in your peripheral vision well enough to drive. Make sure the frames aren’t too thick, and the same with the arms of the glasses. Making sure the arms of your sunglasses aren’t hindering your view either will also allow you better visibility while driving. Sunglasses are tools to protect your eyes from the sun, but we have to ensure they don’t stop us from driving safely.
We have many choices to make as drivers. Let’s use our logical sense while driving and leave our fashion sense at home; at least when we’re driving.