DALLAS, Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 90 percent of decisions and reactions made behind the wheel depend on good vision. While many believe a bright, sunny day is optimal for driving, the reality is that blinding glare from sun, snow and vehicles is a significant contributing factor to fatal auto accidents. Additionally, a recent survey commissioned by Essilor of America, Inc., the world leader in eyeglass lenses, revealed a disturbing fact that 20 percent of eyeglass wearers sometimes drive without their prescription glasses and instead wear non-prescription sunglasses, quickly making day-driving unnecessarily treacherous.
For blinding glare when driving, simple solutions abound in the form of polarized, prescription sunglasses. In fact, a clinical study conducted by Essilor as a precursor to the survey found that driver reaction times improve by one-third of a second for drivers who wear polarized lenses. For a car traveling 50 miles per hour, one-third of a second allows a driver to stop 23 feet sooner, or the length of an intersection. In glare-intense situations, polarized lenses improve vision clarity by 75 percent, as opposed to ordinary sun lenses, allowing wearers to enjoy better clarity of vision.
"Only one-third of eyeglass wearers have prescription sunglasses with polarized lenses," said Kim Schuy, Senior Global Director of Marketing, Essilor. "As our roadways heat up this winter and glare from the sun and snow increases, it's critical that consumers discuss with their eyecare professional the life-saving benefits of prescription, polarized lenses."
Trouble seeing while driving on sunny and/or snowy days is very common among glasses-wearers. However, those with prescription sunglasses, particularly those with polarized lenses, experience less trouble. Specifically, over 60 percent of eyeglass wearers surveyed agree that when driving during the day, glare from sun and snow makes it difficult to see while driving, notes Essilor's survey.
Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs more than 9,000 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, Thin&Lite®, Xperio® and DEFINITY® and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eyecare professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).
About the research
KRC Research conducted 1000 online interviews with American adults who wear prescription eyeglasses. To qualify for the survey, respondents needed to wear glasses "for practically everything," and be licensed drivers. Data was collected November 14th through the 17th, 2010.
SOURCE Essilor of America