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BETTER VISION IN A DOWNPOUR
Wearing polarized sunglasses when driving in the rain during the day will help a driver see better. Polarized sunglasses work to block horizontal components of scattered or reflected light, which means they help counteract the scattering of light that atmospheric effects like fog or rain have on daylight.
Notice, however, that this ability is limited to polarized sunglasses. Non-polarized lenses won’t do anything other than make the field of vision darker, which means wearing them while driving in the rain would increase the hazard, not reduce it.
One caveat though: Wearing polarized lenses while driving may make LCD dashboard displays quite a bit harder to read.
In a nutshell:
- Wear polarized sunglasses when driving in rain during the day. First and foremost, forget about driving in an absolute downpour — instead, get off the road and wait out the storm. However, during light to moderate rainfalls, polarized sunglasses will help the driver see more clearly.
- Lenses must be polarized. Despite the e-mail’s assertion that “any model will do,” non-polarized sunglasses will not improve clarity of vision in the rain. Indeed, they will make matters worse.
- Wear polarized sunglasses when driving in fog during the day. Get off the road and stay off the road when fog is heavy; but in light to moderate fogs and mists, polarized sunglasses will assist drivers in the same fashion that they do in light to moderate rains.
- Don’t wear sunglasses while driving at night. Although polarized sunglasses will help improve clarity of vision during the day in rain or fog, at night they will serve to reduce contrast and thus make a mess of the driver’s depth perception. This practice is foolhardy and dangerous.
A driver had a rainy day accident when the car suddenly began to hydro-plane and literally flew through the air. The driver was not seriously injured but stunned at the sudden occurrence!
Bottom line – NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON. Because if the control is on, your car tires may lose contact with the road, and your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed and then control is lost.