If you've ever taken your new transition lenses for a drive, you may have been sorely disappointed when they did not transition behind-the-wheel. In the world of driving, not all transition lenses are created equal. There's a suspect at play, and which photochromic lens technology you choose will determine if they work during your daily commute.

Join SportRx as we answer why not all transition lenses work inside a car, share which ones do and how they work, and review our lineup of the best transition lenses for driving!

Best Transition Lenses for Driving

1. Do All Transition Lenses Work Inside a Car?
2. How Do Transition Lenses for Driving Work?
3. Transitions® Drivewear®
3.1. Drivewear®
3.2. Drivewear® Silver Mirror
4. Transitions® XTRActive®
4.1. XTRActive® Grey
4.2. XTRActive® Brown
5. Serengeti Drivers®
5.1. Drivers®
5.2. Polarized Drivers®
5.3. Polarized Drivers® Gold Mirror
6. Prescription Driving Glasses Online at SportRx

Do All Transition Lenses Work Inside a Car?

No. Transition lenses react primarily to UV exposure. When you're in a car, the windshield and windows are treated with a UV-resistant coating to block UV rays from passing through to the interior. While this is a benefit to protecting your vision and skin, it is also the reason your standard transition lenses will not darken in the car.

How Do Transition Lenses for Driving Work?

Unlike standard photochromic lenses that require UV activation, transition lenses for driving are designed to also react to natural (visible, clear, or white) light. By reacting to both UV and natural light, transition lenses for driving can change despite the UV-resistant treatment of car windows.

transition lenses for driving graphic of uv rays and car

The UV-resistant treated windshield prevents UV rays from passing through while visible light enters the interior of the car.

Let's take a look at three lens technologies that all excel for their light-adaptive performance behind-the-wheel.

Transitions® Drivewear®

Transitions® Drivewear® utilize light intelligent technology® and NuPolar® polarization technology to create one of the most comfortable driving experiences yet. These two lens technologies work together to decrease the blinding glare from the road and other cars, provide 100% UV protection, and adapt to changing light conditions. This photochromic response darkens behind the windshield, so you'll always have the perfect level of tint at all hours of your drive.


The original Drivewear® color starts as amber, then transitions to a polarized brown. In low light, amber delivers high contrast so you can make out any bumps or dips in the road. In bright light, polarized brown filters excess light and provides visual comfort in even the sunniest of days.

Drivewear® Silver Mirror

Similar to the original Drivewear® lens, these transition lenses feature an amber to polarized brown color with the addition of a subtle silver mirror. An excellent option for those who want a trendy look while on their daily commute!

Transitions® XTRActive®

One of the most popular transition lenses on the market, Transitions® XTRActive® lenses are the fastest and darkest photochromic technology yet. Their ability to quickly adapt to changing light conditions means you'll get the tint you need in no time.

Unlike Transitions® Signature®, which does not have behind-the-wheel activation, XTRActive® lenses are perfectly responsive in the car, making it one of the best transition lenses for driving!

Note: XTRActive® lenses are not polarized but do come with multiple anti-reflective coating options.

XTRActive® Grey

Starts as nearly clear and transitions to a dark grey. Grey lenses provide true-to-color vision and work well in any condition.

XTRActive® Brown

Starts as nearly clear and transitions to a dark brown. Brown lenses enhance contrast in low-light conditions and provide a warmer view of colors.

Serengeti® Drivers®

Launched in 1985, Serengeti® Drivers® have become a fan-favorite for driving enthusiasts. Known for their warm-effect that enhances contrast and creates a comfortable visual experience, it's no wonder Serengeti® Drivers® have a loving fanbase. A bonus? All Serengeti lenses are treated with backside anti-reflective coating to minimize glare.


Their emblematic amber-colored lens enhances contrast and definition while providing a gentle warmth to your vision. Starts as light amber in low-light conditions and transitions to dark brown in bright-light conditions. A soothing wash of tint provides visual comfort at all times.

Polarized Drivers®

Featuring the same iconic amber to brown transition as the original Drivers® lens with the added protection of polarization. Polarization combats blinding glare that is created from light bouncing off reflective surfaces. This blinding glare is transformed into horizontal light that polarization works to block while allowing the vertical light to pass through the lens. What does this mean for the wearer? Reduced glare and reflections, minimized eye fatigue, a boost of contrast, and optimal visual comfort.

Polarized Drivers® Gold Mirror

Add an extra layer of brightness protection with a gold mirror to your Polarized Drivers®. Ideal for bright and sunny days, the gold mirror delivers a stylish way to protect your eyes.

Shop Serengeti Sunglasses

Prescription Driving Glasses Online at SportRx

Need prescription driving glasses with transition lenses? Done. When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tooltips throughout the customization process as you build the perfect pair. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips, and if you want to chat with an expert, give us a call! We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can help you build your prescription driving glasses.

Ditch risky online shopping with our See Better Guarantee. Try your transition lenses for 45 days. If you’re not satisfied, send them back. Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get your pair of prescription driving sunglasses at SportRx today!

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