Generally, there are two types of fitover sunglasses, those that are functional and those that are fashionable. Both are worn over prescription glasses. Sunglasses that are polarized will help reduce and, in some cases, eliminate glare, which reduces eyestrain and fatigue. Not only is polarization important, but lens tint is also a factor in fitover performance. For example, copper lenses increase contrast improving the overall driving experience. Fitovers created with function in mind usually feature some sort of side lenses designed not to obstruct peripheral vision.
On the other hand, fashion fitovers focus primarily on aesthetics. They’re made to look as stylish as possible often times disregarding function altogether. To achieve this more fashionable look, some brands eliminate the side lenses in an effort to create a fitover sunglass that looks more like a conventional sunglass.
However, this is done to the detriment of the consumer. Your peripheral vision is important when you’re driving. It helps you to sense the presence of an object that is out of your line of sight. For example, when you’re changing lanes, your peripheral vision generally offers some insight as to whether there’s a car immediately to your left or right. Unfortunately, your peripheral vision does not extend in to what is commonly known as the “blind spot.” The blind spot is an area that is just outside your peripheral, and can’t be seen with your rear view or side mirrors. To properly check that your blind spot for vehicles, most people have to turn their heads a little over 90°.
If you’re wearing fitover sunglasses that completely blocks your peripheral vision or one that allows blinding unfiltered light directly to the eye, not only will you not be able to sense anything to your immediate left or right, you’ll need to turn your head about 135° to check your blind spot. Most people find it uncomfortable rotating that far without also turning their upper torso thus requiring you to take your eyes off the road ahead.
Wearing a fitover sunglass that blocks your peripheral vision isn’t a wise choice. We would recommend that you either wear a fitover with side shields such as the Cocoons, or one with panoramic sweeping lenses such as those featured in our Vistana fitovers. Both the Cocoons and the Vistana place function first, but have found a way to package this function into highly fashionable fitover sunglasses.