Tinted windows are dangerous – for at least the following reasons.
■ Tinted windows hide the road in front. Being able to see through a car, even when driving at a safe distance, provides important information about potential oncoming hazards.
■ Tinted windows hide the driver (1). Very little of what is communicated is verbal, and that includes the body language of a driver. Even an inexperienced driver can pick up important information about a driver from his posture and his demeanour. Is he looking at the road ahead? Is he looking for an address? Is he talking to the passenger or not looking at the road.
An experienced driver will pick up even more subtle information, such as a driver’s actions immediately before an unexpected turn, swerve or lane change.
■ Tinted windows hide the driver (2). They make the driver anonymous. If a driver can’t be seen he is far more likely to behave selfishly. Actions such as tailgating or queue-jumping are examples of actions by drivers who believe themselves to be ‘hidden’ behind their tinted window.
■ Tinted winds hide the driver (3). How can authorities see if a driver is using a telephone, or if a child is not strapped in, or is committing some other offence, if they cannot see into the car?
■ Tinted windows reduce the visibility of pedestrians. Once the light levels drop outside, such as at dusk or night, external objects that are not well-lit become significantly more difficult to see. This would include pedestrians.
There are many solar control glass products that don’t require the visible light transmission to be lowered to extremes. These control the infra-red energy spectrum but affect the visible light spectrum to a lesser extent.
I understand that there are cultural reasons why tinted windows are desired, but these should not outweigh the potential safety concerns, and there are other options for people who do not wish their skin to be seen – including clothes.