Driving in the rain is already difficult enough, then to have to do it at night when it's hard to see the cars, and you get the glare from oncoming traffic. But what if there was a simple fix, and it was something most people already have in their car. Simlpy putting your sunglasses on at night in the rain.
"I wouldn't necessarily recommend that anybody wear sunglasses at night," suggests Dr. Jeremy Gulley, a physics professor from Kennesaw State University. "I just think it would not be safe enough to be driving, by cutting out half of the light that might be reaching your eyes cause a lot of the reflected light coming from your headlights hitting something coming back at you, is most of the information your concerned about."
But what if they were polarized lenses?
"The way polarization works, light bounces up at you that is reflected off the surface, and it creates glare," explains Dr. Michael Walker, an optometrist from Cumberland Pointe Eye Care. Well the arrangement of the molecules in polarized lenses block that reflected horizontal light, so the light that's bouncing off the surface of the water gets blocked, but yet the light coming in through you can see. That's how you can see through the surface."
So obviously it does not work at night, nor is it safe, but what about when it rains during the day?
"In theory, on a wet, rainy day, light is being reflected off the water that's on the pavement, and that reflected light is coming up at your eyes, and it creates a glare," states Dr. Walker. "In theory, if you have polarized lenses, it's blocking the light that's coming up at that angle, thus allowing you to have less disabling glare as you drive. You're able to see objects a little bit better.
"I would think if you were just driving through the rain during the day, and you wanted to eliminate glare from oncoming cars," explains Dr. Gulley. "It can actually be effective. I still wouldn't necessarily recommend it."
Bottom line: experts say the lenses will work during the day...but it all depends on how light it is outside, and the angle at which the light is coming from. One thing is clear: while polarized lenses do help... anti-glare lenses on regular glasses... are much better.