• Home
  • /Driver Safety
  • /Government Set To Launch Investigation Over ‘Dazzling’ Headlights
Government Set To Launch Investigation Over ‘Dazzling’ Headlights

Government Set To Launch Investigation Over ‘Dazzling’ Headlights

The government is set to launch an official investigation into the strength of headlights after a petition gathered significant support.

The issue was raised by drivers following a study that found many drivers are struggling with ‘dazzling’ headlights when driving at night.

With 89% of drivers believing some headlights are too bright, the government has decided to investigate by launching a study into headlights, with further details to follow.

What Is The Issue With Headlights?

As anyone who drives regularly knows, driving in the evening can be more hazardous.

Dark conditions coupled with adverse weather conditions can increase stopping distances significantly, often by double or more.

Oncoming vehicles with powerful headlights on in dark conditions can be incredibly distracting and dazzling for drivers.

And the issues drivers are reporting go beyond just that, with the increased power of LED technology in addition to the angle at which the headlights are seen with more and more SUVs on the road causing issues.

There is science behind it too…

Our eyes perceive blue light (which is used in LED lighting in modern vehicles) differently from the older yellow halogen lights you might find in older vehicles.

It’s the same with streetlights – think of the warmer orange glow you might remember from when you were younger to the more modern, blue-tinted LED lighting of today.

Two-thirds of drivers who are struggling with oncoming headlights say it’s happening more frequently, while 64% also believe they’re at an increased risk of collisions because of it.

It could also be an issue if you’re driving on a road with low-level or no lighting, meaning that some drivers will use full-beam headlights to view the road in front, which could cause an issue for oncoming traffic.

Many vehicles have adaptive headlights, meaning that full-beam headlights will switch off when a vehicle is detected, though.

What Does This Study Mean?

The research into the issues around headlights is relatively new, which means there isn’t a consensus on whether the issue is something that needs addressing formally…

Hence why the government has decided to launch its own study, to canvas opinion and gather the thoughts of scientists, vehicle experts, road safety experts and manufacturers.

Because being unable to see for just 1 second while driving at 60mph would see the vehicle travel 13 metres, it’s clear that dazzling headlights are a potential hazard.

A quarter of drivers in the original survey said that LED highlights, which are fitted to the majority of modern vehicles, are causing significant issues with glare, but 22% per cent weren’t sure whether any specific type of headlight was the cause.

The issue appears to be a combination of the angle of the headlight beams, the power of the headlights and how drivers use the headlights (whether that’s full-beam or dipped).

The government’s study should give us further guidance on what the future for headlights means – and what it means for road safety.

Have you experienced issues with dazzling headlights? Do you think the government needs to enforce stricter guidelines on headlights? Let us know in the comments below.