Driving While Wearing Sunglasses: Potential Legal Issues

May 31, 2024 Olympic Eyewear


Driving While Wearing Sunglasses: Potential Legal Issues

Most of us don't think twice about putting on sunglasses to drive. Sunglasses and driving are synonymous in this country. But did you know that there could be potential legal issues involved? It's true. As obscure as such issues might be, they are very real.

For example, most states do not allow drivers to wear sunglasses at night. And no, it is not due to some unexplained dislike of Corey Hart. It's a safety issue. In Texas, drivers are not allowed to wear any kind of eyewear that obscures their vision. At nighttime, it is harder to see. Tinted men’s sunglasses would definitely obscure a driver's vision after the sun goes down. So they are a no-go.

Thick Temples in California

California has a similar law about sunglasses that impede a driver's vision. But their law goes one step further. California drivers are not allowed to wear sunglasses with temples that are ½-inch wide, or wider. As the thinking goes, wider temples prevent a full view from side to side.

The interesting thing is that the law is rarely enforced. Perhaps most law enforcement officers don't even know it's on the books. But that begs the question of why such laws exist to begin with. It boils down to how regulations are created in this country.

Our constitution states that any issues not explicitly mentioned in its text are left to the states to decide for themselves. Rules for driving fit the bill. Nowhere in the constitution is the federal government granted authority to regulate driving. The states get to determine their own rules as they see fit.

In California, Texas, and a number of other states, lawmakers felt it necessary to write rules pertaining to driver vision being impaired. But the laws in most of our states do not even come close to what drivers in the UK are subject to.

Sunglasses Are Rated

Sunglasses in the UK are rated based on the amount of sunlight they transmit. The ratings are expressed as a score from 1-4. Sunglasses rated 1-3 can be legally worn while driving. Those rated 4 cannot. Manufacturers must label them as inappropriate for driving or road use.

Whether in the UK or here at home, enforcement against inappropriate eyewear could consist of nothing more than being pulled over and warned. But depending on the jurisdiction and infraction, wearing certain kinds of sunglasses while driving could get you a ticket and points on your license.

A Fun Fact for Your Customers

Our number one priority here at Olympic Eyewear is to furnish you with high quality, designer sunglasses at reduced prices. We are a bulk sunglasses specialist. So why write a post about the possible legal implications of driving while wearing certain models? To offer you a little fun fact you can share with your customers.

It is a fun fact you can use to start a conversation. Your conversation doesn't even have to lead directly to your sunglass manufacturers. Maybe the best you can do is get a laugh or two. That's still good. Having a fun conversation with customers creates a connection between you and them. They'll remember that conversation next time they look to buy a new pair. Perhaps they will come to see you first.

At any rate, it is not safe to wear anything that impedes your vision when you are driving. So choose a pair of sunglasses that let you clearly see everything around you. You will have nothing to worry about in terms of legal issues. As long as you can clearly see, you are good to go in most U.S. states.

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