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'Victory' For Dazzled Drivers As Review Launched Into Headlight Glare

Wednesday, 3 April 2024 06:00

By (C) Sky News: Claire Gilbody Dickerson, news reporter

More than four out of five (85%) drivers affected by headlight glare say the problem is getting worse, a survey by the RAC suggests. File pic: PA

Headlight glare is set to be reviewed by the government amid concerns it dazzles drivers. 

After a recent survey by RAC found a majority (64%) of drivers believed headlights were at times so bright they risked causing an accident, the Department for Transport (DfT) said independent research will be commissioned to "better understand the root causes of driver glare and identify any further appropriate mitigations".

The move follows a petition signed by more than 10,000 drivers which calls on ministers to launch a review of the issue and "find solutions".

Earlier this year, the RAC, which has campaigned on the issue, published a survey which found that more than four out of five (85%) of drivers felt the problem of headlight glare was getting worse.

The RAC welcomed news of the government research saying it represented a "real turning point".

The company believes headlights appear brighter on modern cars because the use of LED rather than traditional halogen bulbs creates a more intense and focused beam, which improves a driver's view but can be to the detriment of other road users.

Other potential factors include badly aligned headlights and the increase in the number of cars that sit higher on the road, such as SUVs.

Baroness Hayter was among those who urged the government to take action over headlights.

"This is a victory for all those drivers affected by glare who've complained to their  MP, signed the parliamentary petition, or indeed sought help from an optometrist only to discover the problem was with headlights, and not their eyes," she said.

"This is an issue the RAC has long campaigned on and I am delighted the Government has recognised there is a real problem.

"We look forward to discussing its research in due course."

The 2,000-strong RAC poll suggested that 89% of drivers think some car headlights are too bright.

Two-thirds (67%) of those affected by headlight glare said being dazzled forces them to slow down considerably, while 64% believe some headlights are so bright they risk causing accidents.

RAC road safety spokesman Rod Dennis said:

"The fact the government has listened to drivers' concerns and heeded our calls to examine the complex issue of headlight glare in more detail marks a real turning point.

"The topic has undoubtedly struck a chord with motorists up and down the country, with many people contacting us directly to call for something to be done.

"Brighter headlights, while giving drivers a better view of the road ahead, are clearly causing other road users significant problems."


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