Theoretically, I think people wearing single vision lenses can see distance better than progressives. A single vision lens is better for seeing distance. However, if you need for a reading addition increases, a pair of progressive is better. If the vision with the progressive lenses improves when you drop your chin slightly, using a higher part of the lens than they have been set too high. This effect can be exaggerated if your driving position has the seat-back inclined backwards, because then your chin tends to be higher, and you naturally use a lower part of the lens. This of course matters hardly at all to a single-vision distance lens, but is critical to whether a varifocal delivers clear distance vision. Just occasionally I have made varifocals specifically for sports car drivers for this reason. Out of the car, the reading portion is too low for anything but occasional use.
The eyeglasses with single vision lenses can enhance our peripheral vision and therefore your mobility, especially when you enter your 60s and 70s, normal age-related changes reduce your peripheral vision, and progressive lenses can worsen this problem. Moreover, single vision lenses provide a wider zone of clear vision than progressive lenses, and they give you a much better view of your feet when you are looking down to step off a curb or onto an escalator or a flight of stairs. It's very possible that some seniors who have fallen may not have done so had they been wearing single vision lenses.Even if you like wearing progressives most of the day, it's always nice to have a second pair of glasses with single vision lenses prescribed specifically for computer work or reading. Your eyes and neck will thank you!
When it comes to progressives, they give you a narrow spot of clear close vision through the bottom center of your lenses. You need to point your head directly at your reading material to use this magic little spot in your lenses. The rest of the lower part of your lenses (down and to either side) will be more distorted than you're used to. With the same height of the lenses, you can get a wider spot with your single vision lenses. I like the idea of progressive lenses. I like the idea of looking down for reading, and looking ahead for distance vision. I was sold on the concept.The reality, though, is that I can only see clearly when I am directly facing what I'm looking at. My peripheral vision is pretty much useless. It's distorted, blurred, and it has color diffraction. I don't like that. I like being able to look at something without turning my head (and possibly my body as well). Hope this helpful.