I was driving to an appointment the week after Halloween last year. The roads were wet and slushy from an early winter snow event ( snow event being the term that the station’s DJ used). It stuck with me because of his next words: “It looks like sunglass season is over.” Wait, what did he say? No matter the season, we’ve all been in a car and experienced sunshine reflecting off snow or wet pavement. Oncoming headlights
can make driving in the dark difficult. We live in a world surrounded by visual noise. This noise is caused by one of four types of glare that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Glare is defined as a visual condition in which the observer feels either discomfort or exhibits a lower performance in visual tasks. This occurs when too much light enters your eye and interferes with your eye’s ability to manage it.
Glare is any light source that interferes with your vision rather then helping you see. We can face four types of glare while driving: distracting glare, discomforting glare, blinding glare, and veiling glare.
1. Distracting Glare: Distracting glare is caused by light reflecting off lenses. This type of glare can also be experienced at night, causing halos around headlights, streetlamps, and signs. The result is annoyance, distraction, and eye fatigue. 2. Discomforting Glare: Discomforting glare is direct or reflected glare caused by everyday bright sunlight. Discomforting glare occurs in varying degrees of severity, but even milder degrees result in visual discomfort, eye strain, and fatigue.
3. Blinding Glare: Blinding glare results from light reflecting off smooth, shiny surfaces, such as water, sand, or snow. This glare can be strong enough to block your vision, possibly to the extent that your ability to see is heavily compromised. 4. Veiling Glare: Experienced in a car, veiling glare occurs when light reflects off the dashboard and onto the windshield. These reflections make it difficult to see clearly while driving.
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