Why You Should Wear Sunglasses When Driving

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Why You Should Wear Sunglasses When Driving

When you get up in the morning and the light is hurt your head
The first thing you do when you get up out of bed
Is hit the streets a-runnin' and try to beat the masses
And go get yourself some cheap sunglasses ...
- ZZ Top

As it turns out, ZZ Top had it right the first time. Sunglasses can be incredibly useful (though I would suggest spending a bit more). Over the years in my law practice, there have been countless times where the sun blinded the at-fault driver in a car wreck. It doesn't change who is at fault, but it is a circumstance that is avoidable. The description usually goes a little like this: "I was driving down Highway 17 and went to make a left turn across traffic, so I got in the middle median. I didn't see any other vehicles, but the sun was in my eyes and there was a car coming..." Here, the driver failed to yield the right-of-way to another car driving legally in their own lane of travel. Or, at least, it is how the police will write up the report. Again, and I cannot stress this enough, the accident is completely avoidable. If the driver had been wearing polarized sunglasses, they would have seen the oncoming traffic, stopped, and waited for traffic to clear. 

So where does that leave us? Most people say, yeah, but sunglasses are really expensive, and I just don't have the money. You are thinking short-term, when you should be thinking long-term. A car wreck costs a lot more money in the long run than a one hundred-dollar pair of sunglasses. And there is a distinct possibility you could get hurt and will hurt others too. At this point, you are on board and thinking, Ok, Frank, but where should I get the sunglasses? Go where I go. I have a long and enduring relationship with Shades of Charleston. Over the years, I have purchased four pairs of sunglasses (mostly because I either lost or broke them along the way). As a tip, get the little Cablz or sunglass strap, because then you really have to try to lose them. It is well worth the twelve bucks. Back to our story ... 

When I began researching for this article, I talked with Steven at Shades of Charleston to get some more background information about the importance of sunglasses. It turns out, there was a lot I didn't know. For instance, there are tons of lens colors to choose from. The color depends on what you intend to use the sunglasses. For me and and my focus on driving, the bronze lens is the best lens for driving. The bronze lens increases contrast and allows a crisp and clear view when driving. On the other hand, gray lenses are great for being out on the water but tend to be too dark when driving. But here is the twist, because the day is shorter in the Fall, the sun sets at 5:30 p.m., right when people are stuck in five o'clock traffic. The sun sits right in your line of vision when you are most frustrated and stuck on I-26 Westbound. This moment is when you need sunglasses the most. They play an important role in preventing car wrecks. Please go and get a pair of them. Lastly, make sure the sunglasses are polarized, which is just a fancy way of saying the sunglasses reduce the glare from the sun and reflective surfaces. In fact, the polarization and the clarity of the lens is what you are spending extra money on in the first place. And it is money well spent. 


This has been Frank Hartman, of The Hartman Law Firm, LLC, with this public service announcement (PSA). As it happens, I like to teach people about what I do for a living. If you are interested, go to www.thehartmanlawfirm.com. There you will find over one hundred and fifty videos we shot that cover a lot of ground about car accidents and how to avoid getting into one. 

-Frank Hartman