Woman loses her eyeball after driving with the wrong sunglasses on

Girl with white hair in sunglasses behind the wheel of a car. Portrait.
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

A woman has shared how she lost her eyeball due to driving with the wrong style of sunglasses on. TikTok user Hannah Oliver took to the app to upload a video explaining exactly what happened to her.

"I lost my eye due to my sunglasses shattering and let me just tell you, this is something that you probably do all the time," she said. In the video, which has been watched more than 1.8million times, she recalls driving in her car while wearing her "favourite designer sunglasses" due to the sunny weather.

She then warned: "But the issue is, the majority of the sunglasses that you are probably wearing are made out of straight plastic lenses. And basically what that means is on any impact they will shatter."

Recalling the exact details of the accident, she added: "So I was driving along and this guy pulled out in front of me, I didn't react fast enough, and when I did, I slammed on the brakes and hit him from behind... I was only going 25 miles per hour.

"When it happened, my airbag came out and it hit my sunglasses perfectly. The lens shattered into pieces and all those pieces went straight into my eye.

"My eye was shredded, my optic nerve was gone, my retina was detached, my eye had completely deflated. My top eyelid was hanging over, my bottom eyelid as you can see is really non-existent."

Hannah says the accident encouraged her to create her own brand of protective sunglasses. Recalling why, she told viewers: "I had the hardest time after the accident figuring out what is a safe pair of stylish sunglasses that I can wear."

She created her own brand, called Blue Eye, adding: "Because this happens all the time. Since I lost my eye, I've connected with so many individuals that have lost their eye due to the same exact reason."

Hannah then urged shoppers to look at the material their sunglasses are made out of when making a purchase. "If they are made out of plastic or nylon and anything besides polycarbonate, don't wear them in the car.

"Trust me, you do not want to be partially blind or go through the pain."

Best ways to stay safe when wearing sunglasses:

In the UK, wearing the incorrect style of sunglasses can leave drivers with a £1,000 fine. It can also increase the risk of road accidents.

Experts at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts have investigated how drivers can stay safe this summer when driving in sunglasses. They recommend the following tips when deciding whether to drive in sunglasses.

Wear shatter-resistant sunglasses

Drivers can be at high risk when wearing sunglasses that aren’t shatter-resistant at the wheel. Wearing shatter-resistant sunglasses reduces the risk of injury if a driver ends up in an accident on the road.

High fines when wearing incorrect sunglasses

Regulations pose the risk of drivers being fined up to £1,000 and three points on their licence if they drive wearing inappropriate eyewear. Due to the fact that tinted glasses and lenses result in restricted vision, you should never wear glasses too dark and you should never wear any form of sunglasses at night.

It is crucial for drivers to wear appropriate sunglasses and ensure they have clear vision on the roads at all times. If glasses are too dark that they prevent drivers from seeing clearly, or make it difficult for you to see traffic signals clearly, then this can result in a £1000 fine.

Wear sunglasses with UV protection

Many drivers are seen to wear fashion sunglasses at the wheel, however, if these lenses are simply tinted and do not block the UV rays. This has a high potential to be damaging to the driver.

You can check that your sunglasses meet UK standards of blocking 99-100% UV radiation by looking for the British and European standard markings on the label. Fashion sunglasses with deep side arms can also block your side or peripheral vision therefore they are not recommended for driving.

Be careful of sunglasses causing a glare

Blinding glare on the roads can be a lethal factor when driving in the sun. Drivers are likely to be dazzled by low sun, or the glare reflecting off surrounding vehicles. The correct pair of sunglasses can minimise this risk. Wearing sunglasses with a polarised lens will reduce the glare from surfaces and roads.

Scratched sunglasses

Drivers may not be aware that if you were to be involved in a collision on the roads, whilst wearing unsuitable eyewear then you may be liable to prosecution. If your glasses have any scratches or external damages, this goes against the laws set out in the highway code and can result in drivers being liable to prosecution. So drivers should ensure that their glasses are maintained in a safe and good condition.

Not wearing sunglasses in the sun

Nationwide Vehicle Contracts advise always driving with a spare pair of sunglasses in your car's glove compartment. As we approach summertime in the UK, the sun can cause glares on the road and squinting in the sun restricts vision. Having a spare pair of sunglasses in your car ensures for safe driving when the sun appears, and minimises the risk of restricted vision.