Are some LED headlights on new cars too bright to be safe? 08/07/19
According to research from the RAC, drivers believe that new car headlights are becoming too bright and potentially a danger to other road users.
The new LED headlights are so luminous that the research found that 91% of those surveyed said that car headlights are too bright and 60% of them admitted that they are often dazzled by the lights whilst driving, even if the lights are dipped.
Over 300 collisions a year are due to dazzling headlights. The survey also concluded that many people are no longer able to tell the difference between a headlight that is dipped and one on full beam.
The research also suggest that in some cases it may not just be the intensity of the lights that is the issue – other concerns include badly aligned headlights, or lights on the incorrect height setting.
Part of the MOT test concerns the alignment of the headlights. In 2016 this was altered to ensure that lights are aligned to point slightly to the left to reduce the risk of dazzling oncoming motorists. In 2018 6% of vehicles tested due the headlight direction – that is the equivalent of 1.6m cars last year.
If you find that you get dazzled often and you wear glasses, opticians can offer a coating to your glasses that can help reduce the glare of the bright lights.
It’s advisable to check if your own headlights may be causing issues to other road users –
The issues that result in glaring headlights can be more complex than you would think. There a number of different reasons that can cause this - ranging from the height of a vehicle, people’s personal vision or headlight alignment.
There are steps due to be put in place that to keep headlights safe - international standards of headlights have not been revised since the 1960s. These standards do not take into consideration new technologies like xenon and LED lights, but it is likely that they will in the near future.
All content is believed to be correct at the time of publication.
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