Thousands of drivers being ‘blinded’ by headlights that are too ‘bright’

If they’re not angled properly there’s every chance you’re going to get blinded, RAC warns

The majority of drivers think some or most car headlights are too bright, RAC research has found.

Some 88 per cent of drivers taking part in RAC’s study said they had been dazzled, effectively temporarily blinded, by headlights while on the road.

63 per cent of road users said they were getting dazzled for more than a year or two with 23 per cent claiming they were now being dazzled a lot more.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis previously said: “It’s clear that the problem of drivers being dazzled by the headlights of others isn’t going away, and in fact our research shows that a large proportion of drivers say they’re getting dazzled more regularly now than a year or two ago.

“There are a number of factors that contribute to whether a headlight dazzles another driver or not, the most important being the angle of the headlights as you look at them.

“If they’re not angled properly – or the driver in the oncoming car has forgotten to dip their headlights – there’s every chance you’re going to get blinded.

“Modern LED headlight technology may also have a part to play as the human eye reacts to the so-called ‘blue light’ from LEDs differently to the ‘yellow light’ of conventional halogen headlights.”

The poll found a total of 64 per cent of drivers said they believe headlight dazzle could cause other drivers to have accidents.

Around 65 per cent of drivers said it takes between just one and five seconds to see clearly after being dazzled.

However, 12 per cent said it took more than six seconds for their eyes to clear.

The RAC warned that drivers would travel more than 40 car lengths in this time, suggesting the lights could be compromising road safety.

Mr Dennis added: “This presents a real irony: the brighter and better your vehicle’s headlights are, the clearer your night-time view of the road ahead is, often it seems at the expense of anyone coming towards you.

“The full intensity of your headlights – especially if they’re not angled down correctly – can cause oncoming drivers to momentarily glance away from the road or even be blinded for a few seconds.

“In short, being dazzled isn’t just about discomfort, it also represents a significant road safety risk.”


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