20 Best Sunglasses for Driving (2019): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews

Are you on a quest to find the best sunglasses for driving?

Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of products to bring you the best driving sunglasses.

In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.

  • Product Details
  • Buyer’s Guide
  • The Real Danger of Sun Glare
  • Why Driving Sunglasses are Important
  • Not Every Pair of Sunglasses is Right for Driving
  • Types of Sunglasses for Driving
  • Lens Material
  • Lens Color
  • Frame Material
  • Top Sunglasses Brands for Driving
  • Things to Do When You’re Driving under the Bright Sun
  • Proper Sunglasses Care

I will also answer some common questions.

  • Driving sunglasses, what are they?
  • For brighter days, what color of lens is preferred?
  • Do polarized sunglasses have disadvantages when it comes to driving sunglasses?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Chief Editor

Brian

Hi! I’m Brian, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science. I used to be an editor of a sports magazine. I like to read sports and recreation magazines, such as Outdoor Life, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Runner’s World. I hope that this article can be helpful to you.
Brian

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Top 3 Picks ( In a Hurry? Here are the winners )

Product
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Polarized, 100% UV Protection (Large Frame - Black...
Professional's Choice
DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men 8177s(Gunmetal Frame Gray Lens)
Best Value
Joopin Semi Rimless Polarized Sunglasses Women Men Retro Brand Sun Glasses (Brilliant Black Frame Grey Lens)
Image
J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Polarized, 100% UV Protection (Large Frame - Black...
DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men 8177s(Gunmetal Frame Gray Lens)
Joopin Semi Rimless Polarized Sunglasses Women Men Retro Brand Sun Glasses (Brilliant Black Frame Grey Lens)
Price
$16.99
$22.00
$12.29
Prime
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Product
J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Polarized, 100% UV Protection (Large Frame - Black...
Image
J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Polarized, 100% UV Protection (Large Frame - Black...
Price
$16.99
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Product
DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men 8177s(Gunmetal Frame Gray Lens)
Image
DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men 8177s(Gunmetal Frame Gray Lens)
Price
$22.00
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Product
Joopin Semi Rimless Polarized Sunglasses Women Men Retro Brand Sun Glasses (Brilliant Black Frame Grey Lens)
Image
Joopin Semi Rimless Polarized Sunglasses Women Men Retro Brand Sun Glasses (Brilliant Black Frame Grey Lens)
Price
$12.29
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

Best Sunglasses for Driving

According to one of the articles published by the AAA (American Automobile Association), the typical adult American spends around 17,600 minutes driving every year. This includes driving to work and home again, work trips, weekend driving, vacations, and more. If you drive without sunglasses, you are not only straining your eyes, but you also increase your risks of accidents, especially when your vision is affected by glare. If you already drive with sunglasses, are they really the best choice for driving?

Sunglasses for driving should be a necessity for all regular motorists. They protect your eyes from UV radiation, they can lower eye fatigue, and reduce glare. Overall, the sunglasses that are polarized make your driving experiences safer and a lot more comfortable.

However, sunglasses come in different styles, designs, and quality. In fact, there are so many poor quality models which are not able to provide the protection that you need when it comes to the sun. To assist you in finding the best pair of sunglasses for driving here is our useful buying guide.

1. J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Polarized, 100% UV Protection – Editor’s Choice & Best Seller

J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Polarized, 100% UV Protection (Large Frame - Black...
  • POLARIZED LENS – specialized multi layer lens designed to filter and...
  • UV 400 PROTECTION - J+S Vision lenses are 400UV rated, meaning it can...
  • HIGH QUALITY FRAME – made with metallic alloy that is ultra light...
  • PERFECT ALL ROUNDER - being Polarized and 400UV protection makes these...
  • 100% RISK FREE PURCHASE - All J+S Sunglasses comes with a 1 year...

These superior driving sunglasses provide the ideal mixture of modern and a classical aviator-style that comes in two sizes. This includes the 140mm medium size and the 152mm large size. The medium size is a perfect fit for the majority of women, while the large is suitable for people that like the over-sized look. The 100% UV protection and polarized lenses reduce glare, reflections, and eyestrain while significantly improving visual clarity.

The durable and lightweight alloy metallic frames, the spring-loaded hinges, and your choice in black or silver frames, along with 17 choices in lens colors, will match up to any style that you prefer. These are the ideal pair for a day out with friends, spending hours driving in the midday heat, or for your favorite fishing trips. They also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year warranty on both the lenses and the frames.

2. Joopin Semi Rimless Polarized Sunglasses – Best Value

Joopin Semi Rimless Polarized Sunglasses Women Men Retro Brand Sun Glasses (Brilliant Black Frame Grey Lens)
  • 100% UV400 Protection Lens Blocking 100% Harmful UVA,UVB & UVC Rays.
  • HD Polarized Lenses Eliminate Glare and Reduce Eye Fatigue. Polarized...
  • The Simi Rimless Style Sunglasses Collection Remains True to its...
  • Light-weight Design is Ideal for Usage by Motorcycle and Cycling...
  • One Year Breakage Warranty on Frame & Lens and 30 Day Money Back...

These semi-rimless polarized sunglasses from Joopin feature a resin sturdy frame with a stylish design which has become one of the top sellers on the market. These glasses resist UV rays while the polarized lenses eliminate glare. These lenses are also radio-resistant, scratch-resistant and along with an oil and water-resistant layer.

Each part of this model of sunglasses is all well-engineered. From the classy temples, and comfy nose-pads to the string-hinges, you will soon wonder how you ever lived without them. If you prefer classy sunglasses and you spend a lot of time driving during the day, this is a worthwhile pair of sunglasses to consider.

3. DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men 8177s – Professional’s Choice

Sale
DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men 8177s(Gunmetal Frame Gray Lens)
  • 【TAC Polarized Lens】 UV400 Protection Coating blocks 100% of...
  • 【Al-Mg Metal Alloy Frame】 Lightweight AL-MG alloy design is ideal...
  • 【Product Dimensions】 Lens Height: 40MM(1.57 inches)--Lens Width:...
  • 【COMPLETE ACCESSORIES AND PREMIUM PACKAGE】 Include Glasses Case...
  • 【Risk Free After-Sale Service】 All DUCO customers enjoy our 30 Day...

If you are in search of high-performance sunglasses for driving which also looks fantastic, then this model from DUCO may be the perfect pair for you. These sports-style glasses come in various color options, which typically means you will find a pair that you really like.

The lenses measure 40mm X 61mm, which creates a perfect wrap-around shape which provides the very best protection when it comes to your eyes. These lenses feature a UV400 rating which filters out all UVB and UVA sunlight, providing the ultimate protection when you are out in the sun.

The lenses are TAC polarized triacetate, which means they reduce reflection and glare. The lenses are also scratch-resistant while the frames are durable yet lightweight, which means they should last for a long time.

We enjoyed the clever combination of fashion and functionality. These sunglasses perform well when it comes to reducing glare and keeping the harsh rays of the sun away from your eyes, yet the designers took a lot of care in creating glasses that feature both style and elegance. This is definitely one of the top choices for driving sunglasses.

4. Polarspex Polarized 80’s Retro Classic Trendy Stylish Sunglasses for Men / Women

Polarspex Polarized 80's Retro Classic Trendy Stylish Sunglasses for Men Women
  • 100% UV (UVA & UVB) Protection TAC Polarized AntiGlare Unisex Adult...
  • Paintless Reinforced Metal Hinges For Everyday Durability
  • Lens width: 52mm/Lens height: 43mm/Bridge: 15mm
  • Free Premium Heavy Grade Wool Felt Protective Storage Case Pouch...
  • Available in a wide variety of frame colors and lenses in faded...

These retro old-school 80s looking sunglasses have been designed for women and men and are the ideal choice to store inside your glovebox when you need sunglasses to protect you from the sun. However, these glasses also look great for general use and everyday smart-looking sunglasses.

These glasses are made up of both plastic lenses and frames, yet they are still very durable and come with metal reinforced hinges which means than can withstand rough treatment to a certain degree. They come in a variety of colors giving you the option to find a pair that you will love.

Even though these are very stylish sunglasses, they offer exceptional protection for your eyes. They provide 100% resistance to UVB and UVA rays and they come with TAC anti-glare polarized lenses which eliminates scattered light and the blinding effects of the sun, which means they are highly reliable for driving.

These sunglasses are lightweight, inexpensive, and extremely reliable making them the ideal choice for driving. They are also unisex making them suitable for women and men alike. However, they are slightly small which means they are also suitable for teenage girls and boys.

Overall this a great pair of sunglasses that offer reliable protection for long hours on the road.

5. MERRY’S Unisex Polarized Aluminum Sunglasses Vintage Sun Glasses For Men / Women

MERRY'S Unisex Polarized Aluminum Sunglasses Vintage Sun Glasses For Men/Women S8286 (Black, 56)
  • POLARIZED LENS - Polarized sunglasses reduce glare reflected off of...
  • STYLE-2016 Newest Brand Design,It is Suitable For Any Face, Show Your...
  • Suitable- Houseboat ,Driving, Running, Fishing,Racing, Skiing and...
  • Lens Height:45MM(1.77 Inches)--Lens Width:56MM(2.20Inches)--Temple...
  • 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - All MERRY'S customers enjoy 30 Day Money...

These Unisex Aluminum Polarized Sunglasses by Merry’s are superior quality sunglasses that feature a more vintage style. The composite lenses are polarized which reduces glare while enhancing your vision. This makes them the ideal choice for racing skiing, fishing, driving and for anything else to reduce glare and when your vision isn’t clear without using glasses.

These sunglasses come in 6 color choices, with each offering its own noble temperament and stylish elegance. In addition to being highly classy with a vintage theme, these glasses demonstrated excellence in regards to outdoor usage and driving.

6. SUNGAIT Ultra Lightweight Rectangular Polarized Sunglasses UV400 Protection

Sale
SUNGAIT Ultra Lightweight Rectangular Polarized Sunglasses UV400 Protection (Gunmetal Frame Gray Lens, 62)...
  • Polarized sunglasses - 100% Protection Against Harmful UVA/UVB & UVC...
  • Fashion Metal Frame - Lightweight and Strong rectangular polarized...
  • Lens Height: 42 mm (1.65 inches) | Lens Width: 62 mm (2.42 inches) |...
  • Includes: 1*Cleaning cloth, 1*Sunglasses pouch and 1* Mini Screwdriver
  • Lifetime Breakage Warranty and Money Back Guarantee

These highly fashionable and stylish sunglasses from Sungait come with a UV400 rating, which offers 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays. They are also fully polarized, which makes them the ideal choice for driving, along with any other type of outdoor activity that you may take part in.

The lenses measure 42mm X 62mm and they are made for comfort and they are also extremely lightweight. They also include comfortable nose pads, adjustable hinges, which makes them very comfortable for wearing over many hours at a time. Once you are wearing them, you will soon forget that they are there.

The frames are very sturdy and made from durable magnesium and aluminum alloy, which means they are designed to last. The lenses are dark and shatterproof which offers great vision using a good color. These sunglasses come with their own cloth to keep them clean, a screwdriver should you need to make any adjustments and a stylish black case.

We really enjoyed the look of these glasses, and that they are highly functional as driving glasses when it comes to keeping your eyes safe from glare. Yet this is also one of those fashion accessories which will make people notice you where ever you may go.

These sunglasses offer exceptional value-for-money and are a great choice for driving sunglasses along with general use. They also come with a money-back guarantee and a lifetime-breakage warranty.

7. Polarized Sunglasses for Men Driving Mens Sunglasses Rectangular Vintage Sun Glasses For Men / Women

Polarized Sunglasses for Men Driving Mens Sunglasses Rectangular Vintage Sun Glasses For Men/Women Matte Black
  • Lightweight Polarized Sunglasses - 100% Protection Against Harmful...
  • Comfortable Nose Pads Design-This pair of polarized sunglasses for men...
  • Quality Hinge-This pair of sunglasses for men uses the quality combo...
  • Well-designed Legs-This pair of mens sunglasses polarized has an...
  • 30 Days Guaranteed – In case any problem happens, contact the seller...

If you prefer functional and simple sunglasses dedicated to driving which still exudes a level of elegance, then these sunglasses from Sinuoda might just be the right pair for you. They are the ideal choice for not only driving but any other outdoor pursuit and typical daily use.

The lenses come with a UV400 rating which provides complete protection against UVC, UVB, and UVA rays, which means you are guaranteed of full eye protection.

The TAC polarized lenses reduce glare along with eliminating scattered light, which means you have a clear view when you are driving, even in those extremely dazzling conditions.

This pair of sunglasses offers an ergonomic and comfortable design along with comfortable nose pads which offer irritation-free wearing. They also come with anti-slip legs which makes sure your glasses remain in place.

When it comes to this model we were the most impressed by the simplicity. They come in a variety of options, yet all remain classy and understated. They also perform extremely well to reduce glare and to stop the sun from getting into your eyes, which means they are a top-rated choice for driving.

8. ATTCL Men’s Hot Retro Al-Mg Metal Frame Driving Polarized Sunglasses For Men Women

ATTCL Men's Hot Retro Al-Mg Metal Frame Driving Polarized Sunglasses For Men Women 16560blackgray
  • POLARIZED LENS - 100% UV400 protection coating, blocks 100% harmful...
  • ALUMINUM MAGNESIUNM METAL ALLOY make frame Strong and light.The...
  • 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - All ATTCL customers enjoy 30 Day Money...

The ATTCL Hot Retro driving sunglasses are not an average pair of glasses that will only last for a few months before you have to invest in a new pair. These glasses feature a magnesium-aluminum metal-alloy frame which makes these glasses not only lightweight but also incredibly strong. The polarization and clever design eliminate glare and blinding sunlight making them the ideal choice for running, cycling, driving, fishing and more.

The UV400 100% protection coating also works on eliminating reflection along with superior protection when it comes to the harmful rays of the sun. This is a very well-designed model that certainly deserves its well-earned reputation.

9. SUNGAIT Men’s HD Polarized Sunglasses for Driving Fishing Cycling Running Metal Frame UV400

SUNGAIT Men's HD Polarized Sunglasses for Driving Fishing Cycling Running Metal Frame UV400 (Black, Gray)
  • HD Polarized Lens - Polarized sunglasses provide100% protection...
  • Metal Frame - Lightweight and Strong
  • Stylish Color- Cool male sunglasses with stylish color combos
  • Lens Height: 40 mm (1.57 inches) | Lens Width: 66 mm (2.60 inches) |...
  • Lifetime Breakage Warranty and Money Back Guarantee

Another high-quality, yet affordable pair of sunglasses by SUNGAIT. This model is a bit different in comparison to the previous model mentioned on this list, as the lenses attach from the top of the frames opposed to being encircled. Yet they come with most of the features that made the other version such a great pick.

They are comfortable and lightweight, while the frame is made from a tough magnesium and aluminum alloy. They offer 100% polarization with a UV400 rating which offers ample protection from harmful UVC, UVB, and UVA rays. They also offer very clear HD vision.

Each lens measures 40mm X 65mm which gives this model a different look and shape when compared to the other Sungaits. Similar to the other pair, these also come with a screwdriver, glasses cloth, and a black glasses case to keep your glasses protected when you are not wearing them.

Another top-rated choice which is perfect for outdoor activities and driving. They offer a stylish appeal and work well to keep the glare of the sun away from your eyes.

10. DUCO Shades Classic Oversized Polarized Sunglasses for Women 100% UV Protection 1220

Sale
DUCO Shades Classic Oversized Polarized Sunglasses for Women 100% UV Protection 1220 Brown
  • REAL UV400 PROTECTION DUCO lenses are engineered to block 100% of all...
  • UPGRADED FRAME About buyer reviews' concern of broken frame, we have...
  • TAC POLARIZED LENS is made from a special material which is impact and...
  • LIFETIME BREAKAGE WARRANTY ON FRAME &LENS All DUCO Sunglasses are...
  • 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE 100% satisfaction guaranteed. We are not...

The DUCO women’s polarized sunglasses provide a very stylish design while still offering 100% eye safety. The lenses are oversized and come with classic metallic details around each hinge, which provides the wearer with an elegant and sophisticated look which is very easy to get away with. They come in 5 frame colors, making it an easy task to find just the right ones to match up to your own style.

The lenses are constructed out of a durable polycarbonate, which is scratch-resistant and durable. They are fully polarized which keeps the glare away from your eyes while you are behind the wheel, along with drastically improving visibility. The high-quality lenses have been engineered to completely block out UV radiation along with UVA, UVB, and UVC rays which these lenses filter out. They also come with durable and strong frames, along with with a no-questions-asked replacement should your glasses sustain damages.

More Products (Our Rating: 4 Stars)

11. Oakley Men's Holbrook OO9102 Rectangular Sunglasses
Sale
Oakley Men's OO9102 Holbrook Square Sunglasses, Matte Black/Black Iridium, 57 mm
  • Rectangular-lens sunglasses featuring Three-Point Fit system for...
  • Lenses are prescription ready (rx-able)
12. MERRY'S Men's Polarized Driving Sunglasses For Men Unbreakable Frame UV400 S8513
MERRY'S Men's Polarized Driving Sunglasses For Men Unbreakable Frame UV400 S8513 (Gray, 61)
  • POLARIZED LENS - Polarized sunglasses reduce glare reflected off of...
  • STYLE-2016 Newest Brand Design,It is Suitable For Any Face, Show Your...
  • Suitable- Houseboat ,Driving, Running, Fishing,Racing, Skiing and...
  • Lens Height:50MM(1.97 Inches)--Lens Width:61MM(2.40Inches)--Temple...
  • 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - All MERRY'S customers enjoy 30 Day Money...
13. Fiore Island Sol Polarized and Non-Polarized Sunglasses Rimless TR90 for Men and Women
Fiore Island Sol Polarized Sunglasses Rimless TR90 for Men and Women [Black - Polarized]
  • Frame Width: 5.65" | Lens Width: 2.51" | Temple Width: 4.95" | Frame...
  • Available in Polarized and Non-Polarized sunglasses
  • These are NOT reading glasses. These are REGULAR sunglasses.
  • Polycarbonate Shatterproof Lenses that Block 100% UVA and UVB Rays for...
  • Zipper Case Included
14. Fitover Sunglasses | Polarized and Non Lens Cover For Eyeglasses and Prescription Glasses
Fit Over Sunglasses Over Glasses - Polarized & Non-Polarized
  • FIORE – THE BRAND YOU CAN TRUST. No more expensive prescription...
  • EXCEPTIONAL DESIGN. Our over sunglasses are expertly crafted to offer...
  • TOP NOTCH QUALITY. Our trend-setting over prescription sunglasses are...
  • PREMIUM GRADE POLARIZED LENSES. With high performing polarized...
  • ONLY THE BEST FOR YOU. We pride ourselves on providing top quality...
15. A.J. Morgan Castro Round Sunglasses
16. Costa Del Mar Fantail Sunglasses
Costa Del Mar Fantail Sunglasses, Blackout, Blue Mirror 580 Plastic Lens
  • Costa's 580 Polycarbonate provides high clarity, impact- and...
  • Blue Mirror Polarized is best for bright, full-sun situations on the...
  • Costa's co-injected bio-based nylon frame material is both tough and...
  • 100% polarization kills reflected glare and reduces eye strain.
  • Built by hand and backed for life. Every pair of Costa Sunglasses...
17. ATTCL Men's Driving Polarized Sunglasses Al-Mg Metal Frame Ultra Light
ATTCL Men's Driving Polarized Sunglasses For Men Women 16695goldgray
  • ATTCL Hot Classic Driving Polarized Sunglasses Fit for driving, hiking...
  • POLARIZED LENS - 100% UV400 protection coating, blocks 100% harmful...
  • ALUMINUM MAGNESIUNM METAL ALLOY make frame Strong and light.The...
  • 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - All ATTCL customers enjoy 30 Day Money...
18. SOXICK Night Driving Polarized Glasses for Men Women Anti Glare Rainy Safe HD Night Vision HOT Fashion Sunglasses
SOXICK Night Driving Polarized Glasses for Men Women Anti Glare Rainy Safe HD Night Vision HOT Fashion...
  • EXCELLENT NIGHT VISION-Reduce night driving glare and eye strain,...
  • POLARIZED LENSES-Eliminate Glare and Reduce Eye...
  • SUPERIOR WEARING COMFOR-Lightweight AL-MG alloy material frame can be...
  • FULL PROTECTION FOR THE EYES-Military Quality Guarantee Patented...
  • QUALITY GUARANTEE-We are extremely proud and confident in our product...
19. Maui Jim Sunglasses | Sugar Beach H421 | Rimless Frame, Polarized Lenses, with Patented PolarizedPlus2 Lens Technology
Maui Jim Sunglasses | Sugar Beach H421-26 | Rootbeer Rimless Frame, Polarized HCL Bronze Lenses, with...
  • All Maui Jim sunglasses feature PolarizedPlus2 lens technology that...
  • Enjoy ultimate UV protection combined with premuim style, incredible...
  • HCL Bronze lenses feature a warm tint that provides versatility in...
  • Polycarbonate is designed to offer outstanding impact resistance and...
  • Frames constructed from lightweight, injected nylon, designed for...
20. American Optical Original Pilot Eyewear 55mm Silver Frame with Bayonet Temples and True Color Gray Glass Lens
AO Eyewear American Optical - Original Pilot Aviator Sunglasses with Bayonet Temple and Silver Frame, True...
  • American Optical
  • TRUSTED FOR OVER 50 YEARS- The Original Pilot is American Optical's...
  • FRAME / TEMPLE -Thin Steel frame; a “navigator” style with a wide...
  • PERFORMANCE LENS-Made from reinforced, scratch-resistant glass, they...
  • AMERICAN CLASSIC- Among the millions of military personnel, these...

The Real Danger of Sun Glare

Bad weather is a problem that most drivers are at least hypothetically prepared to handle. Rain, snow, wind, ice – all of these impact the way you drive. If you’re smart, you adapt your driving to keep yourself and others safe.

Sun glare is a problem that can be just as dangerous as the harsh weather described above, or even more dangerous. Yet a remarkably high number of drivers don’t think of glare as a potential driving problem. Statistics show that sun glare may make serious accidents up to 16 percent more likely.

The figures to support that assertion: US data from 2008 shows that sun glare was a significant factor in 16.4 percent of all weather-related car crashes that year. There were even more direct figures gathered in the UK in 2013. In that year, sun glare was found to be directly responsible for 3,000 accidents and 36 fatalities.

The numbers don’t lie; glare is a serious threat. Yet there are still too many drivers who ignore the risk posed by sun glare and take no steps to deal with it. Part of this contempt may be because glare usually seems like a short-term problem. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be counteracted – or that it isn’t dangerous.

Why Driving Sunglasses are Important

Whenever road conditions involve bright sunlight, you derive significant benefits from wearing sunglasses:

  • They block harmful UV radiation, preventing it from entering your eyes
  • With polarized lenses, they can improve visibility and cut down on glare
  • Properly-designed driving sunglasses can give you a clearer, more detailed view of your surroundings
  • They reduce your need to squint, and that can eliminate headaches and nausea

Some practical advantages make it easy to enjoy those benefits, too:

  • The cost of good driving sunglasses can fit into any budget. It’s one of the cheapest ways to make a positive impact on your safety on the road.
  • Sunglasses are portable and lightweight, making it easy to take them with you or leave a pair in your car all the time.

Not Every Pair of Sunglasses is Right for Driving

Bright sunlight and the reflective glare it creates are both serious safety hazards on the road. You need sunglasses to protect yourself. But not every pair is created equal! If you choose your driving sunglasses poorly, you may end up doing yourself more harm than good. Here are key problems that can render certain sunglasses unsuitable for driving:

1) Too Much Tint

The more heavily-tinted a pair of sunglasses is, the less light makes it through the lenses to reach your eyes. Clear lenses transmit 80 to 100 percent of the light that falls on them; the most heavily-tinted glasses transmit only 3 to 8 percent. For driving sunglasses, you want glasses that transmit between 18 and 43 percent of the light that hits them.

2) Lack of Polarization

As detailed above, glare can be a serious and even fatal cause of accidents. The single best way to protect yourself from glare is to drive behind a pair of polarized sunglasses. This is always a key feature to look for when you buy a pair of sunglasses specifically for driving. 

3) Wrong Tint Color

Because sunglasses are considered a fashion accessory in most contexts, you can buy them with virtually every shade of tint in the rainbow. Unfortunately, if you pick your sunglass tint solely according to your sense of style, you run the risk of compromising your safety when it comes to driving. Blue, green, pink, and red tints are especially bad for driving sunglasses. These shades can distort color information when you’re on the road, and sometimes that information – like the color of a traffic signal – can be life-or-death important.

For driving purposes, you want neutral tint shades that maintain color integrity. Examples include gray, copper, and amber tint.

4) Chunky Frames

Sunglasses with fat frames and temples are best worn in relaxing, no-stakes situations. Those are beach sunglasses. When you’re driving, you want sunglasses with thin temples so that your peripheral vision isn’t impeded by any more than is absolutely necessary.

Types of Sunglasses for Driving 

The following lenses and designs are particularly suited to the safety considerations of driving:

Photochromic (AKA Transition) Lenses

Photochromic lenses change the amount of tint they provide based on how much light strikes them. This can be a tremendously useful function for driving sunglasses. You need to experiment a little bit with your particular combination of lenses and car, though. Photochromic lenses are specifically activated by UV light, and many car manufacturers now add UV-blocking films to their windshields. A pair of purpose-built driving sunglasses with photochromic lenses may appear unusually dark when you handle them outside of a car.

Polarized Lenses

Glare is a major source of danger, distraction, and eye strain while you’re driving. This is the exact problem polarized sunglass lenses are designed to combat. Polarized glare-reducing sunglasses are great on both bright and wet days – the polarizing film applied to the lenses works to cut down water reflections as well as sun glare. Polarized lenses work by blocking out horizontal light waves, reducing the total amount of light to a more manageable level. Polarized lenses also increase contrast.

Tinted Lenses

The right tint color and intensity can dramatically increase the effectiveness of a pair of driving sunglasses. One unfortunate truth is that the very best combination of tint changes depending on the light and weather conditions outside. In bright sunshine, high-intensity tints in neutral shades like gray and brown work best. In cloudy conditions or at dawn and dusk, lower intensity is more suitable. Such conditions also make shades like yellow, amber, and orange more effective.

UV Protection Lenses

Optometrists are now very clear on the threat that ultraviolet (UV) light poses to your eyes. UV light exposure, over time, causes and worsens serious vision defects like cataracts and macular degeneration. Natural sunlight has a strong UV component, so it is vital to protect your eyes from it while driving. UV protection is a must for good driving sunglasses.

Anti-Scratch Coating

While it doesn’t directly improve road safety, this feature is a handy investment for extending the life of your driving sunglasses. Anti-scratch coating is particularly helpful on driving sunglasses because they tend to see more wear and tear than casual sunglasses.

Aviators

Aviator-style sunglasses are a good go-to bet if you want to pick out a decent pair of driving sunglasses fast. They’re comfortable, they don’t obscure peripheral vision, and they’re even stylish. Just check to confirm that your aviators have full UV protection and you’re ready to go.

Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Driving Sunglasses

There are a lot of factors that make a particular pair of sunglasses suitable or unsuitable for driving. When you want to buy the best sunglasses for driving, considering all the issues presented here can improve your chances of finding the perfect pair:

Geography and Climate

While the right driving sunglasses will be useful in any bright situation, it makes sense to consider the conditions in which you’ll most often be using them. Does your daily commute oblige you to drive straight into the sunrise or sunset? Is your region frequently overcast? Do you live somewhere with especially intense sunlight, so that you need darker than normal lenses?

UV Protection

Some of the considerations presented here are matters of taste. UV protection is different. Research has verified that UV radiation is a significant contributor to many serious eye problems. Examples include macular degeneration, cataracts, and pingueculae. Lenses designed for effective UV protection are absolute must-haves for a good pair of driving sunglasses.

Polarization

Polarized lenses are powerful tools for cutting glare. They can reduce or eliminate blinding sources of light like sun reflections and car headlights. Polarization works by embedding millions of microscopic iodine crystals in a lens, all aligned in parallel rows. The result is that half of the total light energy striking the lens passes through. In driving glasses, the result is a significant reduction in brightness with minimal loss of overall visibility. The glare protection provided by polarized lenses can be extremely important, particularly if you’re using your driving sunglasses in very bright conditions.

Lens Size

When it comes to protecting your eyes, larger always equals better. It’s important to remember that potentially-damaging sunlight comes at your eyes from every direction, not just straight ahead. Light coming in from the sides can be harmful.

Big lenses may not work with your face shape, but when you’re picking out driving sunglasses, you have higher priorities to worry about than looking stylish. Going for glasses with especially large lenses (e.g. aviators) is particularly important if you live close to the equator where sunlight is more powerful and more common.

Lens Material

You have plenty of options when it comes to the material your sunglass lenses are made out of. The field is not quite as wide as it is for frame material because obviously, lenses have to be transparent. This rundown of lens materials omits some of the cheaper choices, as you’re unlikely to find them in a pair of really high-quality sunglasses.

  • Glass: Glass is an obvious choice for all sorts of optical lenses, but for driving sunglasses, it’s not necessarily a very good one. Glass is delicate, heavy, and not all that durable. The weight of glass lenses can make sunglasses uncomfortable for extended wear, and that’s a serious problem when you’re driving. Glass lenses are expensive, too. The one upside to glass lenses is that they hardly distort images at all.
  • Polycarbonate: This synthetic polymer has become the material of choice for premium sunglasses of every sort. Polycarbonate scores over glass in many significant ways. It’s cheaper, it’s lighter, and it’s tougher. But this is not a miracle material; polycarbonate lenses are very easy to scratch, and they can produce significant image distortion.
  • Nylon: A nice advance over polycarbonate, nylon lenses introduce greater flexibility to the lens material. This makes nylon lenses even tougher as well as more scratch-resistant. Nylon is also light and inexpensive, roughly equivalent in those respects to polycarbonate.
  • SR-91: An advanced synthetic, SR-91 is a successful attempt to brew up the ideal material for sunglass lenses. It has all of the durability and toughness of the cheaper synthetics listed above, and it also comes close to fine glass in terms of optical clarity. This strong performance comes at a price – literally. SR-91 is the most expensive material used for sunglass lenses.

Lens Color

Driving sunglasses come in a whole rainbow of colors. This is an opportunity to express your fashion sensibilities, but there are also practical considerations when you pick your lens color. You may be surprised to hear that this topic has been studied exhaustively. The result of all the research is that four particular colors stand out as especially effective for driving sunglasses:

  • Brown/Amber: This is a traditional choice, and it turns out there’s science to back up the tradition. Amber has a red element to it that enhances both contrast and depth perception. Another strong suit for amber or brown lenses is adapting to changing light conditions. This is an excellent choice if you expect to run into lots of variable weather.
  • Yellow: A growing number of sunglasses designed expressly for driving make use of yellow lenses. Here, too, there are scientific justifications. Yellow lenses also enhance contrast, and they bring objects into sharper definition as well. Glasses with yellow lenses can also be handy for nighttime driving if you find yourself on brightly-lit urban streets.
  • Gray: The strongest point in favor of driving sunglasses with gray lenses is that they reduce eye fatigue. Gray is also a natural glare-reducer; this color choice is ideal if you see lots of sun and water glare while driving. Gray lenses provide effective shading without interfering with color perception, which is important to a lot of drivers, particularly professionals.
  • Rose: A surprising but effective addition to the roster of research-backed lens colors. Rose lenses have contrast and depth perception-boosting effects regardless of lighting conditions. That means rose driving glasses are another good choice for dealing with variable weather conditions.

A last word on lens color: If possible, choose lenses with a graduated tint. This ensures that your glasses won’t obscure the important information on your instrument panel.

Tint Level

This is a wholly separate consideration apart from lens color. Here, you’re looking at how dark your sunglass lenses are. Sunglass tints are measured on a simple zero to four scale, with zero being no tint and four being the darkest possible tint. The higher the tint level, the less light your sunglasses will transmit to your eyes. For driving purposes, you don’t want the darkest level of tint; it’s important not to compromise your awareness of the road. For driving sunglasses, stick with category two or three tint.

Lens Coatings

Many different coatings can help protect your sunglass lenses. These may add slightly to the overall cost of a pair of driving sunglasses, but the boost is durability is easily worth it. Sunglasses are often subjected to rough handling, and this problem is often exacerbated with a pair of driving glasses that end up living in your car. Invest in an anti-scratch coating to keep ordinary wear and tear from turning into serious damage. Lens scratches don’t just look ugly. They obscure your vision and increase glare.

Of your other coating options, an anti-reflective coating is also a significant value booster. Besides cutting down on glare, this coating also improves your lenses’ resistance to grease and water. That means easier cleaning and more time between cleanings.

Frame Material

The material your frames are made out of is a big influence on their level of comfort. But frame material often dictates durability, too. The tough truth of the matter is that this is usually a trade-off. More durable materials are heavy and uncomfortable; more comfortable materials are flimsy and less durable. Here are a few options that strike a good balance:

  • Stainless Steel: Steel frames are still quite common in a lot of sunglass designs. The metal is cheap, immensely strong, and even hypoallergenic. It’s also heavy stuff, though, and this can reduce comfort.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum trades off a little bit of the durability of steel in exchange for much lighter weight. This is a pretty fair trade, particularly for driving sunglasses where long-term comfort is a necessity. Aluminum is more expensive than steel, driving up the overall price of a pair.
  • Titanium: Titanium is the performance champion when it comes to metal frames. It’s stronger (and therefore more durable) than steel and it weighs even less than aluminum. These formidable assets do cost money, though. Titanium is the most expensive practical option for sunglass frame material.
  • Plastic: Plastic is an umbrella term that covers lots of different synthetic materials. Generally speaking, any synthetic that doesn’t explicitly fall into one of the other categories below counts as plastic. Plastic frames are very cheap and tend to be lighter than metal. They aren’t at all durable, though, and there are many lighter options.
  • Polycarbonate: Just as it is with lenses (see above), polycarbonate is a superb all-around material for making sunglass frames. It’s extremely lightweight, but also extremely tough. It’s not very expensive, either. One important fact to consider is that polycarbonate is brittle and rigid. Polycarbonate frames tend to snap rather than bend if you stress them hard enough.
  • Nylon: Nylon has a few incremental advantages over polycarbonate. It’s another super-tough synthetic, but it has much more flexibility. Nylon frames are ideal if you’ve been known to sit on your sunglasses now and again. Nylon is technically an inexpensive material, but it often shows up in premium high-performance designs which are going to cost more.

Frame Shape

This is another area where we would humbly suggest putting practical considerations ahead of your fashion sense. Chunky, oversized frames might be all the rage, but they don’t perform well as driving sunglasses. Remember that your sunglasses can interfere with your peripheral vision – both above and below your center of vision as well as to the left and right. Driving sunglasses need thin frames that don’t create blind spots in your field of view.

This may seem like pushing safety too far, but it absolutely can be an issue on the road. Some drivers have found themselves in trouble when law enforcement officers and insurance adjusters have looked at oversized sunglass frames as significant contributors to accidents.

For a frame option that models both stylishness and safety, consider aviator glasses for your driving needs. Designed to meet the sky-high performance standards of pilots, aviators keep both frames and arms as thin as possible to minimize obstructions.

Comfort

Comfort matters for every pair of sunglasses, of course, but it’s particularly important with driving sunglasses. You need to be able to wear these glasses for hours at a time; glasses that pinch or wear heavily can do more harm than good when you’re behind the wheel. Sunglass comfort can be difficult to judge, even if you’re shopping in person and can try pairs on. You want to beware the sunglasses that feel good initially but start to become irritating after an extended period. Consult customer reviews to gain insight into how a particular model wears long-term.

Style

Our guide is mainly focused on safety concerns and other practical considerations. But even if you pay scrupulous attention to all the design factors, you can find equally-effective sunglasses in many different styles. Pick the driving sunglasses that best suit your personal taste without compromising your safety. This is a good place to trust to the classics, like the aviators mentioned above.

Cost

Sunglasses are big business, and the price spread can be mind-blowing. You can buy a decent pair of driving sunglasses for as little as $10 or spend as much as $500 – or even more. Don’t be too quick to assume that price is a reliable indicator of quality materials and design. Investigate thoroughly and compare the information provided by the manufacturer to the details presented here. With a little careful shopping, you should have no trouble finding an effective pair of driving sunglasses at a price that suits your budget.

Top Sunglasses Brands for Driving

Maui Jim

Originally founded in Hawaii, this sunglasses manufacturer is now situated in Illinois. Maui Jim became so popular that it is now considered to be the biggest manufacturer of sunglasses in the entire world. With their line of 135 pairs of sunglasses and counting, they have also become known because of their PolarizedPlus2 – their very own polarization technology. Among the different models that they have released, Makaha glasses were the ones being patronized – unisex and is created carefully with features that many drivers and consumers are looking for.

Serengeti Eyewear

If you’ve seen the Aviator types of sunglasses, then this is the manufacturer that started it all. Originally founded in 1984, the company was purchased by Bushnell Corporation in the year 2,000. What makes this sunglasses unique? Over the years, they haven’t stopped developing and producing sunglasses that help protect the eye – thus, the polarized lenses from their Aviator line was born and was popularized by numerous celebrities.

Oakley

With its office based in California, Oakley is known not only for its sunglasses but also for shoes, backpacks and continuously increasing their line of products. The Luxottica Group, owner of the said brand popularized various types of sunglasses with more than 600 patents in their products. James Jannard, the original founder of Oakley in 1975 started the business with a unique type of motorcycle grip. Fun fact: Oakley was named after the owner’s dog. One of the best selling sunglasses Oakley has in their line is the Holbrook Iridium Sport Sunglasses.

Things to Do When You’re Driving under the Bright Sun

Whether you’re driving first thing in the morning, or in the noon as the sun is about to go down, here are some things that you can do to make driving more comfortable and safer for you. If this has been your concern since then, we have some tips to help you drive better and safely under the bright sun:

1. Sunglasses Can Protect Your Eyes From Glare

Because it’s hard to see when the sun is glaring at you, these polarized glasses literally get rid of the glare and let you see through horizontal surfaces making driving a bit easier. A pair of polarized sunglasses simply filters out the glaring light from the sun and lets other lights go through – making it easier and still allows you to see accurate colors from outside, even when wearing sunglasses.

If you’re driving most often during daylight, it is best that you invest in a good pair of sunglasses. This is non-negotiable, and adds comfort to your driving experience, and makes your trip safer as well.

2. Put Down Your Visor

Your car comes with a sun visor – almost all vehicles have, and they’re not placed there for display. Depending on the time of the day, whether the sun is about to go up, or about to go down, the glare coming from the low angles make it difficult to see what’s ahead of you. You can simply block that glare by using your sun visor. This allows you to have a better view of what’s in front of you.

3. Keep Your Windshield Clean

During normal days or driving conditions, a dirty windshield is barely noticeable. However, when under the bright heat of the sun, you’ll suddenly notice that you have marks and dirt which makes it difficult to see the road ahead of you clearly.

This is why it is crucial that you always keep your windshield clean at all times – from the inside and the outside. Make it a habit to wash it with water and dry it with a cloth. However, if your windshield is particularly dirty, you may have the need to go to a car wash or use a cleaner to get rid of the marks.

The same thing applies to your car windows.

4. Have Your Windshield and Windows Tinted

If part of your routine includes driving during dazzling conditions, you may want to consider applying tint on your windows and windshield. However, take note that this isn’t something you can do yourself. There are professionals who do this and won’t break the bank. It usually costs for a hundred dollars and a few more, depending on the brand and how dark the tint is.

But before you go running to the shop, make sure that you check the laws with regard to tints. Some states are lenient with tinted windows, while some have regulations about dark windows.

5. Think about Other Drivers

Remember, if you’re glared by the sun, there is a higher chance that other drivers are too – and that you’re not the only one with reduced visibility. This means that whenever you’re driving out under the sun, you have to be very careful and practice driving defensively. Don’t tailgate – and make sure that you leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you.

6. Keep Your Dashboard Clear

Never leave papers, or other things in your dashboard – keep it clear at all times. What usually happens is that when the sun rises or sets, there is a possibility that the light may reflect on the papers on your dashboard (or other items), adding to glare, making it more difficult to see what’s in front of you. Papers can reduce your visibility and is a no-no especially when you’re always driving under the sun.

7. Stop and Wait

Sunrise and sunset would only last for a couple of minutes. If you’re not in a hurry, you may want to consider delaying your drive, unless you’re on a schedule. Either you drive earlier or delay for a couple of minutes to make driving a lot easier for you. As much as possible, you may want to play your road trip and avoid driving during these times when the sun is about the rise or set.

If you’ve unexpectedly found yourself in a situation where the sun suddenly gets to an angle where it’s hard for you to see, there’s nothing wrong with pulling over until you’re able to see the road clearly. Remember, these circumstances won’t last long and it’s better that you delay your journey for a couple of minutes than jeopardize your safety.

Proper Sunglasses Care

Rinse

If you don’t know this yet, you can rinse your sunglasses with water. Always do this before wiping it dry, regardless if you’re using a cleaning spray or not. The water will help you get rid of the dust and other debris that could potentially scratch your lenses. If you just wipe your lens off without rinsing it with water, there are greater chances that debris that’s stuck on your glasses could damage it.

Spray Carefully

Spray cleaners can be a real lifesaver in making sure that your sunglasses would look clean and remain clean even at the end of the week. However, with the wrong spray cleaner, your eyeglasses may also get damaged, so make sure that before you use anything, read the label and make sure that the spray cleaner won’t potentially damage your sunglasses, especially if yours has a special coating on its lenses.

Leave It Dry

While this may take more time, air drying is the best way to care for your glasses after washing it. The fact that you’re rubbing something against your lenses still poses a risk for the glasses to get scratched, no matter how careful you are. Whenever possible, just leave your glasses and let it air dry.

Always Use a Clean and Dry Cloth

Never use a tissue, paper towels, or even your t-shirts for cleaning your lenses! While there’s no denying that these are still soft, when it comes to your sunglass lenses, they may feel like sandpaper and could potentially scratch your glasses. Microfiber cloths are ideal for cleaning glasses – just make sure that they are clean and dust-free. You can also find some cleaning cloths that are specially made for cleaning your sunglasses.

Keep Your Sunglasses in a Safe Storage Space

Have you ever removed your sunglasses and just thrown it at your bag? I know you’re guilty of this too sometimes – but don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people do this, and though it’s easier, it doesn’t help in keeping the integrity of your sunglasses. You may want to invest in a hard protective sunglasses case especially when you’re traveling or when you throw your sunglasses in your bag at all times. There are also slimmer cases made out of microfiber and may be a good option if you don’t like the hard and bulky cases. These slim cases are also great if you’re keeping your sunglasses by the bedside table, or whenever they’re not being used.

Well-cared and clean sunglasses do no just look great – they also help prolong your sunglasses’ life and makes wearing your sunglasses feel more comfortable as well. Remember, keep your sunglasses clear for unobstructed vision and to ensure that your visibility isn’t affected. Clean lenses also help reduce eye strain and allow your eyes to focus clearly and longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Driving sunglasses, what are they?

Simply said, they are a pair of sunglasses specifically made to promote safe and comfortable driving, even during bright conditions. As compared to other types of sunglasses, they usually have larger lenses, yet thinner frames – for better visibility.

Most of the time, you’ll be able to see that most sunglasses are made up of polarized lenses. They are well known for helping reduce glare from the sun, reflective surfaces, headlights, or basically anything that has a bright light. In addition to making driving safe and comfortable, these driving sunglasses also help block UV radiation.

They come in a wide range of styles and sizes, also in a number of various colors when it comes to lens and tints. However, manufacturers have been making these driving sunglasses to have either a black or brown tint.

For brighter days, what color of lens is preferred?

If your activity normally includes on times and days when the sun is at its brightest, gray lenses are known to be the best option. Gray-colored lenses are popular for driving sunglasses as they are effective in filtering out glare without having to distort the environment’s colors. This means that your color perception won’t be changed as much. This is an important factor since we still need those colors when driving, for example, the traffic lights.

Gray lenses are also to be proven to be a great color for driving sunglasses, whether under a bright light or during normal driving conditions.

Do polarized sunglasses have disadvantages when it comes to driving sunglasses?

There is no denying that polarized sunglasses can do a pretty great job in reducing glare and filtering out excess light, but they also have different disadvantages that you’d want to take into consideration.

While not at all times, polarized driving sunglasses allows you to view the different patterns that aren’t normally seen by the naked eye on your windshield. They can be pretty distracting and reading LCD screens are also a bit more difficult.

During snowy conditions, it’s tougher to see certain objects from the snow because what polarized lenses do is that they reduce the contrast that your eyes see. Price-wise, polarized sunglasses are also more expensive versus the non-polarized versions.

While it’s true that you can buy polarized lenses that come at a cheaper cost, expect that they won’t last long – especially if you’re living in an area near the ocean since there’s a huge amount of salt present in the air. The salt in the air can simply damage the polarized film on your sunglasses’ lens.

Conclusion

If you’re driving, owning a high-quality pair of driving sunglasses is a must. Investing in it is non-questionable and should be a part of your driving essentials. Leather driving gloves may be considered as a luxury and not a necessity as compared to driving sunglasses. They play a crucial role in ensuring that you’ll be able to see clearly, thus, making driving more comfortable and safer for you and other motorists on the road as well.

References

Best Sunglasses for Driving ( Top 3 Picks )

Product
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Polarized, 100% UV Protection (Large Frame - Black...
Professional's Choice
DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men 8177s(Gunmetal Frame Gray Lens)
Best Value
Joopin Semi Rimless Polarized Sunglasses Women Men Retro Brand Sun Glasses (Brilliant Black Frame Grey Lens)
Image
J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Polarized, 100% UV Protection (Large Frame - Black...
DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men 8177s(Gunmetal Frame Gray Lens)
Joopin Semi Rimless Polarized Sunglasses Women Men Retro Brand Sun Glasses (Brilliant Black Frame Grey Lens)
Price
$16.99
$22.00
$12.29
Prime
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Product
J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Polarized, 100% UV Protection (Large Frame - Black...
Image
J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses, Polarized, 100% UV Protection (Large Frame - Black...
Price
$16.99
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Product
DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men 8177s(Gunmetal Frame Gray Lens)
Image
DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses UV Protection Sunglasses for Men 8177s(Gunmetal Frame Gray Lens)
Price
$22.00
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Product
Joopin Semi Rimless Polarized Sunglasses Women Men Retro Brand Sun Glasses (Brilliant Black Frame Grey Lens)
Image
Joopin Semi Rimless Polarized Sunglasses Women Men Retro Brand Sun Glasses (Brilliant Black Frame Grey Lens)
Price
$12.29
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

Last update on 2019-11-07 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API

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