Nearly one-in-four drivers think most car headlights are too bright, suggests a new RAC study.
And the problem of glare from headlights appears to be getting worse with 63% of drivers who get dazzled saying it’s happening more often than a year or two ago.
Contrary to what might be expected, it’s younger rather than older drivers who are more likely to complain about the apparent brightness of headlights and the effect this has on their driving.
Three-in-10 (30%) of those aged 17-34 think most are too bright, compared to just 19% of those aged 65 and over.
Meanwhile, of those younger drivers who believe some, if not most, car headlights they see are too bright, 70% think the accident risk is increased – while for drivers aged 65-plus the proportion is 62%.
The brightness of some car headlights even appears to be putting motorists off driving at night with 16% of those who complain about the intensity of headlights say they avoid driving at night altogether.
The RAC’s research suggests that the increasing prevalence of vehicles that sit higher on the road, specifically SUVs, might also be exacerbating the problem for those in conventional cars that sit much lower, like hatchbacks, saloons and estates.
“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,” said RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis.
“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.”