Modern headlights ‘blinding drivers’

car headlights Image copyright RAC
Image caption The RAC has said new technology has made headlights brighter

Drivers are being temporarily blinded by modern vehicle headlights, according to an RAC survey.

Two-thirds of drivers say they are “regularly dazzled” by oncoming headlights even though they are dipped, the survey of 2,061 motorists suggests.

And 67% of those said it can take up to five seconds for their sight to clear with a further 10% claiming the effect on their eyes lasts up to 10 seconds.

The RAC said advances in headlight technology were causing the problem.

About 15% of those drivers polled said they had nearly suffered a collision as a result of being dazzled by other drivers using full-beam headlights.

‘Unwanted risk’

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “The intensity and brightness of some new car headlights is clearly causing difficulty for other road users.

“Headlight technology has advanced considerably in recent years, but while that may be better for the drivers of those particular vehicles, it is presenting an unwanted, new road safety risk for anyone driving towards them or even trying to pull out at a junction.”

All cars sold for road use in the UK have to be fitted with headlamps that conform to standards set by the EU in line with the UN’s World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations.

A UN working party is currently looking at the issue of headlight glare with its next meeting due to be held at the end of next month.

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