The Problem Of Dazzling New Headlights

Tue 11th Jun 2019

A new report has revealed that nine out of ten drivers believe that car headlights are too bright and almost the same number of drivers want to the Government to take action.

The research from the RAC found that 60 per cent of those surveyed believe that they are regularly dazzled by headlights, and the problem seems to be growing with 54 per cent they are affected more than they were 12 months ago.

Modern xenon and LED lights in cars are perceived to be the biggest problem with 55 per cent blaming the new technology for being dazzled, however bigger vehicles, with higher lights could also be a problem (51%), while 26 per think that the issue may be more about driver error and misaligned headlights.

RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said: “Among some drivers there is a perception that newer headlights cause more glare. But while a sizeable proportion claim it is the xenon headlights more often found in higher-end vehicles that are primarily to blame, a greater proportion either don’t know the difference between lights or aren’t sure.

“In reality, the issue of glare is a complex one and is not as straightforward as saying on type of lightbulb causes more of a dazzling effect than another — there are a range of reasons why a driver may be dazzled, from a slight misalignment of a headlight, the different in ride height of different vehicles and even individual people’s vision.”

While the report suggests that the problem is growing, there is no real evidence to suggest that brighter lights are making the UK’s roads more dangerous. The most recently available data shows that of the 93,125 car accidents in 2017, only 315 were attributed to dazzling headlights.