Dazzling car headlights under Government review

The Government is working with the United Nations to determine whether some car headlights are too bright, following complaints from drivers

BMW 3 Series - headlights

Manufacturers could face new limits on the type and power of headlights they offer on their cars. A United Nations Working Party, of which the UK is a member, is currently looking at the issue of headlight glare in response to growing public concerns.

Over the years, manufacturers have introduced brighter headlamp systems to improve road visibility, from bi-xenon bulbs to matrix laser technology. However, drivers are now complaining that some headlamps are too powerful and end up dazzling them on the road.

Best car headlight bulbs to buy now

According to a new RAC survey, fifteen per cent of UK drivers say they have suffered a near miss after being dazzled by modern car headlights they believe to be too bright.

Of the 65 per cent of drivers that said they regularly get dazzled by oncoming car lights, the majority said it takes up to five seconds for them to see normally again. If travelling at 60mph, this can mean they are unable to see properly while traveling for up to 134 metres.

All cars sold for road use in the UK have to be fitted with headlamps that conform to European Union standards and these are set in line with the United Nations’ World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. 

What are dipped beam headlights and when should you use them?

The UN’s Working Party on Lighting and Light is currently looking at the issue of headlight glare. The UK Government is said to be part of the review process into maximum beam brightness, and the RAC understands that the Government expects further progress in 2018.

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.

“We look forward to seeing the progress of the United Nations’ vehicle lighting working group in April.”

Have you ever been dazzled by car headlights? Tell us what happened in the comments section below...

Recommended

Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained
Joe Finnerty in Hyper G sled
Consumer news

Thatcham approved devices and crash tests explained

Thatcham studies crashes, rates alarms and sets insurance groups to help cut drivers’ costs. We find out how
11 May 2021
Company car tax guide 2021/2022: everything you need to know
Executive saloons make popular company cars
Consumer news

Company car tax guide 2021/2022: everything you need to know

Company car tax is bound up in a complex net of emissions, salaries and a car's value; we explain how the system looks for the 2021/22 Financial Year
27 Apr 2021
No new smart motorways to open without stopped vehicle detection
smart motorway
News

No new smart motorways to open without stopped vehicle detection

Implementation of SVD technology to be accelerated, with existing smart motorways getting the system six months earlier than planned
21 Apr 2021
Breakdowns following pothole strikes surge by highest rate ever seen
Potholes
Consumer news

Breakdowns following pothole strikes surge by highest rate ever seen

Report shows 37 per cent increase over the last quarter, as breakdown firm warns roads “are like the surface of the moon”
20 Apr 2021

Most Popular

New 2022 Dacia Bigster to move budget brand into large SUV market
Dacia Bigster - front (watermarked)
Dacia

New 2022 Dacia Bigster to move budget brand into large SUV market

The Dacia Bigster SUV will arrive with value in mind, but hybrid tech will also appear. Our exclusive images preview how it could look
14 May 2021
New Maserati MC20 2021 review
Maserati MC20 - front
Maserati MC20

New Maserati MC20 2021 review

The new Maserati MC20 is the famous Italian brand’s welcome return to supercar market
14 May 2021
Electric cars in the UK: are we ready for the EV revolution?
Electric cars in the UK: are we ready for the EV revolution?
Features

Electric cars in the UK: are we ready for the EV revolution?

We take an in-depth look at how the UK is getting ready for the switch to electric
14 May 2021