Should you wear sunglasses when driving in the rain?

  • Sign in required

    Please sign in to your account to add a vehicle to favourite

  • Share this article

Rainy days often bring a mix of inconvenience and safety concerns for drivers. While most of us are quick to reach for the windscreen wipers and adjust our driving habits, the question of whether or not to wear sunglasses in the rain remains a topic of debate.

Some argue that sunglasses can enhance visibility, while others believe they are unnecessary and may even pose risks. After all, sunglasses reduce the amount of available light, making it challenging to see clearly in low-light conditions. This is particularly relevant during heavy rainfall or when driving in areas with limited street lighting. In such cases, wearing sunglasses might compromise visibility rather than enhance it.

But while it can depend on a number of factors, the single biggest one is whether your sunglasses are polarised or not.

Glare reduction

Polarised sunglasses are specifically engineered to combat glare caused by reflected light. Raindrops on the windshield and wet road surfaces can create intense glare, impairing visibility. The horizontal alignment of polarised lenses helps block out this horizontally polarised light, reducing glare and allowing you to see more clearly.

Enhanced contrast

One of the key benefits of polarised lenses is their ability to enhance contrast. In rainy conditions, where the surroundings may appear dull and colors muted, polarised sunglasses can make objects stand out more vividly. This increased contrast can improve your ability to discern important details on the road, such as road markings, potholes, or obstacles.

UV protection

Like regular sunglasses, many polarised lenses also offer UV protection. Even on overcast or rainy days, harmful UV rays can penetrate clouds and impact your eyes. Wearing polarised sunglasses with UV protection provides an added layer of defense against potential long-term damage to your eyes.

Reduced eye strain

Driving in the rain can be visually demanding, with constantly changing lighting conditions and potential glare. Polarised sunglasses can help reduce eye strain by minimising glare and allowing your eyes to remain more relaxed. This can contribute to increased comfort during extended periods of driving in challenging weather.

Water reflection

Wet road surfaces can act like mirrors, reflecting light and intensifying glare. Polarised lenses are effective in reducing this reflective glare from puddles or wet roads. This feature can be particularly beneficial when driving in areas with numerous water-covered surfaces.

Polarised sunglasses can be a valuable accessory for driving in the rain. Their ability to reduce glare, enhance contrast, and provide UV protection makes them a popular choice for many drivers. However, personal preferences and specific weather conditions should all be considered when deciding whether to wear polarised sunglasses while driving in the rain. Ultimately, the goal is to prioritise safety and ensure that your choice of eyewear enhances your visibility and comfort on the road.

Keep up to date with DRIVEN Car Guide

Sign up for the latest news, reviews, our favourite cars and more.

By signing up for this newsletter, you agree to NZME's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.