Tips and advice

What are night driving glasses? Do they work and should you buy them?

Can yellow-tinted night driving glasses help reduce glare when driving at night? Read our guide to find out

What are night driving glasses?

Night driving is undoubtedly more taxing than doing so during the day. Even on roads you know well, the lack of visibility means you have to take extra care, and being dazzled by oncoming car headlights is a constant frustration. It's becoming more of an issue as modern cars are fitted with extremely powerful LED and xenon headlights, which can be misaligned or left on full-beam accidentally.

You may have heard about special night-driving glasses that can help to alleviate this part of driving at night. Note that night driving glasses aren't the same as night vision goggles - the latter is usually associated with military use, for seeing better in darkness when behind enemy lines. Night driving glasses simply have yellow lenses to help reduce glare from oncoming traffic.

The yellow tints are used because it's the best colour to reduce the impact of white light on your eyes. Some are polarised as well, like some sunglasses, which reduces glare from reflections. Yellow light doesn't hurt your eyes as much as white light does, but it doesn't have as much of a dimming effect as red (which could be dangerous to use at night, as it reduces your visibility a lot).

You can often wear night driving glasses over the top of normal glasses, so you don't need to pay for prescription lenses.

Read on to find out what you need to know about using night driving glasses and whether you should use them.

What are the benefits of night driving glasses?

Some people swear by these glasses, and manufacturers will tell you that they’re proven to reduce glare and dazzling lights. You’ll probably need to test them out to see if they work for you, but fortunately they’re not too expensive. Most versions cost between £10 and £15, so you might decide that this is a bargain if they help you to feel safer and more confident when driving in darkness. However, carefully consider that using them could have negative outcomes.

Should I buy night driving glasses?

While there may be advantages to these glasses, none are scientifically proven so, in some ways, they’re hard to recommend. The yellow tint may be able to help you see better, but sometimes it can actually have the opposite effect. At times, you may not be able to see quite as clearly with the glasses on - it can be like wearing sunglasses at night, although not to the same extent.

To see if there’s anything you can do to reduce how often you get dazzled when driving at night, your first port of call should be to speak to an optician or a doctor. Perhaps take an eye test and, if you do need glasses, choose a pair with an anti-reflective coating. This coating can help your eyes to be less affected by glare, and reduces the reflection from the lenses.

What else can I do to help with driving at night?

Unwanted glare can be magnified through thin films of dirt and grease, so make sure your windscreen and glasses are crystal clear. Cleaning your windscreen can reduce the effect of super-bright headlights, which might make night driving glasses unnecessary.

So that you’re not blinding other drivers, make sure your headlights are adjusted correctly. Having them adjusted wrong is an instant MOT test fail, but your local auto parts store or garage should be able to do it for you. Alternatively, check your car’s handbook - it should tell you how to adjust them yourself.

Finally, you can try to think about where you're looking at night - you may be unintentionally looking directly at the headlights. If you're mindful about looking away from them, it could help.

For more information about your car’s headlights, check out our guides to xenon bulbs and the best bulbs to buy.

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