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Is it safe to drive in contact lenses?

To drive safely and obey the rules of the road, the ability to see clearly is a must. That is why many people require prescription glasses and contact lenses to help keep a sharp vision of the road ahead. While both are safe and suitable options, you shouldn’t overlook the added benefits that contact lenses offer when you are behind the wheel. 

From reducing nighttime glare to improving your peripheral vision, here’s why contact lenses are a great (and maybe safer) choice when getting into the driver’s seat. 

Benefits of driving in contact lenses

Because everything happens at a faster pace on the road, your reaction time can be the best way to avoid an accident. Contact lenses can help with those quick defensive driving reactions.  

A major benefit of driving in lenses is that your lens prescription is specially fitted to your eye shape and needs to provide better all-around vision than a set of glasses that can block sightlines. With improved peripheral vision, you are more likely to notice objects in your blind spots and have better overall views when driving on multi-lane roadways. 

In addition to displaying a more natural field of vision, contact lenses rarely mist up, get rain droplets on them, or smudge the way that glasses can. Because glasses act as another barrier between your eyes and the road, much like your windshield–they are susceptible to smears, spots, and glares that can obstruct your vision when driving. 

Contact lenses also offer the flexibility to take on and off sunglasses while driving, eliminating the need to unsafely shuffle between prescription sunnies and glasses when a bright ray of sunlight unexpectedly appears through the clouds. 

Tips for driving in contact lenses

car-keys-sunglasses-drive

As you can see, there are numerous benefits to choosing contact lenses while taking to the open road. But to ensure a safe driving experience, keep these tips in mind. 

  • Use eye drops – If you occasionally have issues with dry eyes, keep a bottle of eye drops in your bag to help keep your eyes moisturized and clear. Never apply drops in the middle of driving–only when it’s safe to do so. 
  • Adjust your air vents – Gusts from the vehicle’s AC or heating can dry out your lenses. Redirect the airflow away from your face and avoid opening your driver side window to eye level. 
  • Keep a spare set of glasses – It’s always wise to keep backup glasses in the car or daily disposables in your bag just in case there is an issue with your lenses. For instance, if you accidentally rub your eye and dislodge your lens when travelling. 
  • Have sunglasses on hand – Light conditions can change quickly. So, it’s always helpful to keep some sunglasses in your glove box. As a bonus of driving with lenses, you won’t need a costly prescription style – just a pair with UV blocking filters to protect the eyes. 
  • Do not wear coloured lenses – Many designs of cosmetic contact lenses may cover part of your pupil and obstruct your peripheral vision. Therefore, when operating a vehicle, especially at night, wearing coloured lenses is not recommended.  
  • Update your lenses – If you notice that your current lenses affect how you drive. Don’t hesitate to contact your optician and discuss potential alternative lens options.  

At Lenstore, we offer a wide range of contacts lenses to help you switch to an option that will make both you and your eyes more comfortable on the open road.

Driving at night with contact lenses 

Driving at night can be difficult, with or without contact lenses. The way our eyes adjust to different light conditions varies; in the dark, our eyes strain harder to find focus, resulting in more demanding driving conditions for most people. And for those with astigmatism, it can seem extra challenging as oncoming headlights and lamp reflections appear overly blurry and distorted at night. 

If you have an astigmatic prescription, driving with your toric lenses in the dark might be a safer option as they will remove the added layer of light refraction that regular glasses can cause. By reducing one potential level of glare, many drivers that need vision correction (not only for astigmatism) find that lenses are a better choice when driving after dark. 

Even those who believe they have excellent vision should still have regular optical tests to check their eye health and find out how eyesight can impact driving. 

How to avoid glare when driving

car-windshield-glare

Before getting in the car 

Be sure to clean your windshields, windows (including the insides) and mirrors. While they may seem clean and clear during the day – at night, streaks and smudges are more pronounced and can easily cause distraction. 

When busy cleaning your windows and mirrors, don’t skip your headlights. Dirt buildup on the casing and light can block how much they illuminate and limit your vision of the road ahead.   

Finally, make sure your windshield fluid is topped up, and your wiper blades are in good condition. Worn out blades can leave long-lasting smears, and if your wiper fluid is empty, you could be stuck with caked-on debris obstructing your view for the duration of your drive. 

Behind the wheel 

When driving with glasses, your best option is to buy a pair with an anti-reflective coating. The specialized coating reduces unwanted glares, glows, and distracting reflections that may appear in the dark. 

If contact lenses are your go-to when taking to the streets, be sure they’ve been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with solutions, and your prescription is up to date. 

At Lenstore, you’re in the driver’s seat. Shop the lenses you love at the lowest prices–and with next day delivery, orders are always in the fast lane to your doorstep.