Driving – many people absolutely love it, but for most of us, it is a necessity that provides us with a high degree of independence. However, studies have shown that many people feel insecure, tense and stressed when driving – particularly in poor visibility: in the rain, in foggy or misty conditions, and at dawn or dusk. When driving, good visibility is an absolute must for safety and accident prevention. If visibility is poor, we get tired more quickly and react more slowly. But what do drivers really need to provide them with good vision? What requirements do driving spectacles need to meet these days? ZEISS has examined this subject in great detail.
This is sometimes described as "night blindness," a condition that compels many people to simply avoid driving in poor light or at night. The reason for this is that driving in the dark, twilight or in poor light conditions, e.g. rain, fog or snow, makes totally different demands on our eyes. Our pupils are dilated, resulting in less focused vision than with contracted pupils in daylight. One typical consequence of this is that drivers are less able to judge distances, making them feel insecure and stressed.
This means that we need lenses for driving which help us to better assess distances in poor light.
Many people find the glare caused by the headlights of approaching vehicles, streetlights or reflections extremely irritating. This is particularly the case when driving in twilight or at night when the pupils of our eyes are dilated. And to make matters worse, more and more vehicles these days have xenon or LED headlights. These display a high portion of blue light, to which the human eye reacts more sensitively at night. This makes it all the more important to have the appropriate glare protection in order to make driving more comfortable and safer. ZEISS has examined how drivers react to various types of glare and how lens coatings could remedy their problems.
Measurements conducted by the FKFS* Institute on behalf of ZEISS showed that we look into the distance for an average of 97% of our overall driving time. A very high figure indeed! However, our eyes also have other tasks to perform: they have to move quickly and constantly from looking into the distance down to the dashboard or to the rear view or side mirrors. This is usually no problem for young drivers, but from the age of 35-40 onwards, our eyes are no longer able to adapt, or "accommodate" as the experts say, to different distances as quickly as they could in younger years. We require special lenses, e.g. progressives, to overcome this obstacle. For driving purposes, the intermediate and distance zones of progressive lenses must be particularly large to enable us to refocus quickly when our eyes move between the road ahead and the dashboard with minimal head movement. ZEISS has subjected the behaviour of our eyes when driving to a detailed analysis.*
ZEISS has incorporated all of the above aspects in the new ZEISS DriveSafe Lenses to create all-day lenses that are suitable for all-day use by frequent drivers who until now have experienced considerable discomfort due to poor vision. And, of course, for anyone who simply wants to make driving a more enjoyable experience.
ZEISS DriveSafe Lenses feature an optimised spectacle lens design that takes into account the size of our pupils in poor light. There is one design for single vision lenses, and one for progressives. The result: more relaxed and better vision when driving in poor light.
In DriveSafe, ZEISS has used a special new coating to take into account the many different situations during driving when our eyes are confronted with glare. This offers the same hardness and cleaning properties as DuraVision® Premium coatings, but features a different kind of anti-reflective coating. The DuraVision DriveSafe coating has been specially developed to reflect certain wavelengths between 400 and 450 nm which are part of the blue light spectrum and are emitted in particular by xenon and LED light sources. The result: an up to 64%* reduction in glare compared to a classic Premium coating from ZEISS.
*With DuraVision DriveSafe 64% less test drivers reported issues with glare with the new coating than with other premium AR coatings.
ZEISS offers a special design to make driving with progressive lenses more comfortable and safer. The optimised vision zones make it easier for the eyes to refocus when moving between the road ahead and the dashboard and the rear view or side mirrors. Horizontal movements of the head are reduced. At the same time, the near zone is designed so that your spectacles can be worn all day long – also for reading.
In a nutshell: ZEISS DriveSafe Lenses are the ideal vision solution for all-day wear, not only for driving – whether you are at work, watching television or enjoying one of your hobbies.
In the past, I used to hate driving at night, in the rain or in poor light because I couldn’t see as well as I would’ve liked to. Heavy traffic made this even worse. With my new ZEISS lenses, I can see everything much more clearly and there’s less glare too. As a result, I feel safer when I’m driving and have a better overall view of the road ahead.
Petra Waldenmaier, Spectacle Wearer, Germany
* Source: FKFS Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart is an independent foundation associated with the University of Stuttgart. Founded in 1930, FKFS has became one of the largest and leading research institutes in the field of automotive engineering,
serving major automobile manufacturers and suppliers.
**Source: Internal wearer trial (CZV employees in Germany), external wearer trial (eye care professionals and consumers in Spain)