According to the latest research conducted by RAC glare caused by the beam of headlight produces a dazzling effect for oncoming traffic. According to the official statistics, dazzling headlights played their role in 300 collisions.
The survey results revealed that 9 out of 10 drivers believe that the majority of the headlights are gleaming while 54% claimed that they are more dazzled now than a year ago. When asked how they are affected by glare, 60% responded that they were often dazzled by oncoming headlights even when they’re dipped. A similar proportion also claimed that they were not able to distinguish between full-beam and dipped lights. Moreover, 45% of the surveyors complained that they’d been dazzled by lights in their rear-view mirror and 70% felt lights could be so bright as to present an accident risk.
When drivers were interrogated about the likely causes of glare, 51% blamed vehicles that sit higher on the road such as SUVs are responsible for this while 41% assumes the problem is not related to any particular vehicle. When drivers were questioned about any particular technology causing this glare, then 55% responded that bluer’ xenon or the most modern LED headlights are causing this dazzling but 51% were not sure about this. However, headlight bulb manufacturers such as Philips refuted this opinion by claiming that 90% of instances of headlight glare are caused by drivers with their misaligned halogen bulbs, not over-bright xenons or LEDs. But another aftermarket bulb maker Ring blamed cheap bulbs that do not comply with EU standards.
Another interesting fact revealed by research was that in some cases drivers themselves are responsible for causing glare either by not adjusting their lights precisely or by having badly aligned lights. The spokesman of the research organization RAC stated that: “The dazzling effect of another driver’s headlights isn’t just uncomfortable – in some cases it can be nothing short of dangerous, making us lose sight of the road for a short time. So it’s concerning to see that a greater proportion of drivers have reported problems with glare this year than last year
“Among some drivers, there is a perception that newer headlights cause more glare. But while a sizeable proportion claims it is the xenon headlights more often found in higher-end vehicles that are primarily to blame, a greater proportion either doesn’t know the difference between lights or aren’t sure.
“In reality, the issue of glare is a complex one and it’s not as straightforward as saying one type of lightbulb causes more of a dazzling effect than another – there are a range of reasons why a driver might be dazzled, from a slight misalignment of a headlight, the difference in ride height of different vehicles and even individual people’s vision. That explains why not every car headlight appears to be dazzling, with eight-in-10 drivers saying only some cause glare.”
What to do if you are constantly glaring?
Here are some useful tips that might help you, if you are constantly glaring
- If you are wearing glasses, talk to your optician. A coating can be added that helps you in seeing when you are faced with car headlights.
- Adjust your rear-view mirror more often. Unless your car has a self-dimming rear-view mirror, you can reduce glare from vehicles behind you by doing this
- While changing your car, look for one with a self-dimming rear-view mirror and even darkened glass (sometimes called ‘sunset glass’). Both can be effective in reducing the intensity of bright light.
Are you the one troubling other drivers?
Moreover, check yourself for being the cause of glaring. Can your car automatically level its headlights depending on the load you are carrying? If your car does not has automatically leveling headlights, always manually adjust them depending on the load you are carrying and according to the car’s manual. A single person driving with an empty boot needs a different setting compared to a single person plus a boot-load of luggage, or all five seats occupied and a fully-loaded boot.
Make sure to get your car’s headlights angle checked next time you have it serviced to ensure the beam is being directed properly.