Are Car Windshields Polarized? Full Guide

Luxury cars like the grand S-Class Mercedes come with a sleek look that effortlessly makes them stand out. Is it because of their cool-looking windshields? Besides their impeccable performance on the road, luxury cars feature special protective technology installed on their windshields. This technology aids in minimizing glare and light reflection from the sun or other cars.

In general, car windshields are not polarized if the car is sourced directly from the manufacturer. However, you can choose to polarize your windshield, if you abide by the set rules.

Have you ever experienced eye strain caused by glare as you drive? If yes, you may be looking at ways to help eliminate this problem. One of those methods is polarization. Are Car Windshields Polarized? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Polarized Glass?

Are car windshields polarized
Car windshield showing polarized top section

Polarized glass is glass that has been coated with a chemical filter to limit glare. It can be any glass from windshields, glass windows, sunglasses, etc.

Polarized glasses work better because they improve your vision in the face of glare from the sun or other smooth reflective surfaces. See my article explaining why glass sometimes reflects light.

Polarized glass works by keeping the light waves from reflecting/deflecting off of flat surfaces.

Drivers and people in the sports industry enjoy the perks of polarized glass owing to how influential it is in promoting better vision during the day or night.

Polarized glass is;

  • Anti-scratch
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Strong
  • Heat resistant
  • Impact-resistant
  • They do not deform

Are car Windshields Polarized?

Generally, car windshields are not polarized. There are only a few car manufacturers that offer polarized windshields such as Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Ford, Chevrolet, Bently, and Cadillac.

There is still a debate on whether or not car windshields should be polarized. In some countries, the polarization of car windshields is entirely prohibited. You can polarize your car windshield in other countries, provided you follow strict set regulations.

Countries across Europe and Florida in the US do not allow cars with polarized windshields to operate on the road. On the other hand, states like California, Washington, Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio, to mention but a few, allow driving cars with polarized windshields. But on the condition that they abide by the government rules.

Not all states & countries allow polarized windshields

Car windshields are made of special tempered glass to maximize visibility for drivers. However, when it’s super sunny, or cars are driving in the opposite direction at night, the glare from the sun or the headlights can be blinding.

This causes terrible irritation to one’s eyes. To see better and eliminate the discomfort, some drivers choose to apply tint on their car windshields. However, a longer-lasting, viable method of doing away with discomfort caused by the reflection/deflection of light is to install a UV filter instead of polarizing it.

See my article on mirrors reflecting UV light.

What is a Polarized Windshield?

A polarized windshield is when tinting material is applied on a plain windshield to reduce the level of light/glare from other vehicles and reflective services.

Note that car windshields are made of two strong glass layers. In between the layers is PVB film, which many refer to as laminated glass. Automatically, the design of a normal windshield already comes with some level of polarization.

However, the polarization effect may not be enough when the weather is hotter than usual. Most car owners make the mistake of polarizing their car windshields, resulting in serious car accidents.

To promote safe driving, car windshields should allow a clear line of sight. Therefore, polarizing your windshield can distort how light travels through your car windshield. Thus, you may not see other cars or objects deflecting light until it’s too late.

Advantages of Getting Your Car Windshield Polarized

Many polarize the windshield and all other windows on their vehicle to make their car look better. Others do it because it gives them a sense of privacy. However, most car owners polarize their windshields because of the irrefutable benefits that come with them.

These benefits include;

  • Less glare. This allows the driver to better see their surroundings, especially during daytime
  • Temperature control. Less light coming through your windshield means less heat in your car. Polarized windshields block solar energy from passing through and heating your car’s interiors. See the importance of heat reflection.
  • Protection from UV rays. Excessive exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer. Polarized car windshields keep these harmful rays from reaching the occupants inside the car.

Disadvantages of Getting Your Car Windshield Polarized

During production, car windshields undergo heat treatment to make them super strong. To the naked eye, the glass is seamless. If you put on polarized shades/glasses, you can see patterns on the windshield caused by the tempering process. These patterns can cause distractions when driving.

Other reasons why it’s not advisable to polarize your car’s windshield include;

  • You might break the law: In Europe, for example, the polarization of car windshields is strictly prohibited. In other countries, drivers can polarize their windshield but must follow the rules.
  • It’s expensive: Windshield polarization is quite costly. To polarize sunglasses is cheaper, but owning to the size of windscreens, the total cost of the polarization process makes many look to other solutions.
  • Compromises safety: Polarization works by reducing the glare coming from specific directions. During the day, the effects of polarization on your windshield are incredibly helpful. However, the road is full of blind spots during the night because your polarized windscreen remains darker than usual. Here, the chances of crashing into another car or an obstacle are particularly high at night.
  • It inhibits performance: Your polarized windshield may hinder optimum visibility due to its superior ability to block light rays from particular angles. This, especially when turning the car or if there’s an oncoming vehicle. Your visibility is limited as you cannot see certain angles as clearly as you would if your windshield was not polarized.
  • There exist cheaper options: Polarized tint is one of the cheaper options most car owners prefer. You could also put on polarized glasses when you’re driving. The glasses certainly cost far less than having to polarize your entire windshield.

How Can You Tell That Your Car Windshield is Polarized?

Polarized windshield
Polarized windshield

A car windshield will slowly turn dark when exposed to sunlight. This is a sure indication that your windshield is polarized. If there are no changes, your windshield is not polarized.

Most car owners confuse UV filters with polarization. The majority of cars have UV filters to help minimize glare.

Why Do Polarized Sunglasses Make Car Windshields Look Weird?

Polarized sunglasses make the stress patterns caused by glass tempering visible. You may also notice a rainbow-like hue should you look through your windshield from a particular angle.

These irregularities may compromise clear vision, which may limit your safety and cause strain when driving. As a result, it’s likely for a traffic accident to occur.

Consider testing them out on your windshield first if you want to buy polarized driving glasses. This allows you to gauge visibility. Check to see that there’s no interference and that your glasses improve your vision.

Polarized sunglasses

How Much Would It Cost to Polarize Your Windshield?

Car owners, on average, pay $99 to $850 to polarize their car windshields. The total price for the polarization process may vary depending on factors such as;

  • The car type
  • Number of windows to be worked on
  • Type of tint to be installed,
  • The size of the windshield/windows

It’s advisable to work with an experienced professional. This guarantees a job well done and value for money. Doing it yourself or opting for cheaper installations may mean shoddy work, which may endanger you, especially during night driving.

Conclusion – Are Car Windshields Polarized?

Are you looking to get your car windows polarized? Nothing beats the value of working with the right people. Professional windshield polarization services assure you of quality work. Plus, you learn more about the different tinting options available and make guided decisions on what’s best for your car.

Be sure to check out more hints and tips at Glass N Mirrors.

Hot glass being rolled before cooling

Hot Glass vs Cold Glass – What’s The Difference?

When most people think of glass, they probably think of windows or drinking glasses. But there is a lot more to glass than that. In fact, there are two main …

Keep Reading

Quartz pieces turning into glass

Can Quartz Be Made Into Glass? Guide On Quartz & Glass

Glass making is a process that involves heating and cooling sand and other minerals. You may wonder whether it is possible to make glass out of quartz. Glass is made …

Keep Reading

Panda glass on phone

What Is Panda Glass | Ultimate Guide To Panda Glass

When looking for a new phone case, you may have encountered the term “panda glass.” A variety of phone cases on the market use this type of glass. But what …

Keep Reading

Lighted vanity mirror with girl doing make up

What Is A Vanity Mirror – And Which One You Should Pick

A vanity mirror is a type of mirror that is typically used for personal grooming purposes. They are usually mounted on a wall or stand alone on a surface. Vanity …

Keep Reading

Photo of author
Derrick Thompson
I have spent many years as a glazier working with glass and mirrors and this medium never ceases to amaze me. I decided to start this website to help share what I have learned and hopefully educate people about these wonderful building materials.

1 thought on “Are Car Windshields Polarized? Full Guide”

  1. Pingback: Ever Wonder Why Glass Has A Shadow? - Glass N Mirrors

Comments are closed.