Ultra-Bright Headlights Are Causing Accidents, Say Campaigners

After seven years of work, campaigners have finally forced European nations to examine whether the latest generations of headlights are dangerously bright...
Ultra-Bright Headlights Are Causing Accidents, Say Campaigners

We’ve all been dazzled by headlights at some point, whether it’s from oncoming traffic or someone behind, only to discover that the offending car is actually on dipped beam. Some of the latest LED and xenon units are vicious.

A United Nations Working Party, which includes representation from the UK, has started to look at the issue following a growing number of public complaints dating back (in this country, at least) to the ‘Lightmare’ campaign that was started in 2011 by a London-based taxi driver.

Ultra-Bright Headlights Are Causing Accidents, Say Campaigners

An RAC survey suggests that 65 per cent of people are ‘regularly dazzled’ by oncoming headlights, with 15 per cent admitting to a near-miss that they blame on dazzling lights. Most of these people say it takes them up to five seconds to get their full sight back, by which time, if they’re holding 60mph, they can have travelled 134m. Not good, and even opticians don’t like it.

The latest designs of headlights are brighter and whiter, illuminating the road with not just more light, but a more natural colour of beam that’s less strenuous for the driver’s eye. Not as much thought has been given to other drivers on the road, perhaps, with 68 per cent of people saying they had difficulty in judging whether a car’s indicators were on because its headlights were so bright.

Ultra-Bright Headlights Are Causing Accidents, Say Campaigners

All cars sold in the UK have headlights that technically conform to the EU’s current standards, but campaigners want the standards to be changed. RAC spokesman Pete Williams said:

“While regulations specify that all types of dipped headlights must fall between a maximum and minimum luminosity the night-time driving experience of motorists of all ages is very different with many saying dipped beams of some modern vehicles are too bright.

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



MichaelR.T.Jensen I need you to say some words about this…

03/26/2018 - 09:59 |
30 | 0
Michael R. T. Jensen

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Wow, that’s a fair bit of upvotes you got. I do agree, especially under the cut offs of HIDs. That being said, well aimed lights do wonders. I’ve seen badly aimed halogens be blinding, so it’s not just about the brightness.

03/26/2018 - 14:15 |
18 | 0

I think part of the issue is that so many modern vehicles with the led lights are crossovers or suvs of some sort, so the lights are higher and therefore although dipped, the beam is more directly hitting the interior of cars that are lower down.
At least, those are the sort of lights that I most often find myself dazzled by!

03/26/2018 - 10:18 |
268 | 4

I couldn’t agree more.

Moreover quite a few modern cars are equipped with camera based automatic high-beam systems that just don’t work as well as they should. Same goes for all these Matrix LED (Audi) or Multibeam LED (Mercedes) Systems. They’re really nice if you’re in the car that has them, but for everyone else those feel like your eyes are getting burned with a laser.

03/26/2018 - 10:45 |
18 | 0

True, my car is even lower than “normal” cars, so whenever an SUV pulls up behind me, their dipped lights blast right into my rear view mirror (although its a dimmable one, still dazzles a bit). Not even mentioning the problem with the oncoming traffic

I think banning SUVs might be a good solution to the problem

03/26/2018 - 10:47 |
202 | 2

Headlights have a minimum height I think. They should have a maximum height too (lowered if the already have)

03/26/2018 - 11:38 |
10 | 0

i get dazzled by people who use high beams in broad daylight

03/26/2018 - 21:07 |
2 | 2

Also newer French and some Japanese cars have wierd purple headlights that are meant only to irritate other drivers.

03/27/2018 - 06:30 |
6 | 0
Carl Johnson 1

i mean sht they aint wrong. ive had a**holes who only drive with the highbeams amd that sht is blinding on the mountains and twisty roads at night.

03/26/2018 - 10:19 |
18 | 4

Big Smoke Voice “Ayyye CJ!!!!”

03/26/2018 - 10:21 |
6 | 0


03/26/2018 - 10:56 |
10 | 0


03/27/2018 - 00:31 |
2 | 0
03/26/2018 - 10:28 |
30 | 2

I really hope this goes somewhere, on the narrow country roads I do a lot of driving on modern LEDs are a nightmare. Admittedly a low mx5 doesn’t help, but its bad even when driving normal cars…

03/26/2018 - 10:31 |
4 | 0

Even worse when your in a slammed/lowered car

03/26/2018 - 10:31 |
12 | 4
SAVAGE DOGG (Ping-Pong Gang) (Corvette Squad)

Well, there’s a solution (that’s probably not road legal)

03/26/2018 - 10:31 |
40 | 4

Surely i’m not the only one to have flashed an oncoming car to turn of their high beams only to have them flash me back and finding out those were their low beams…😅

It’s especially bad in low cars with oncoming

03/26/2018 - 11:30 |
30 | 2

Too many times 😂

03/26/2018 - 14:20 |
6 | 0
Kavinda Bandara

Hell yes when you live in Sri Lanka with people driving around with high beams on all the time. I suggest to keep beam low always and remove switch for high beam

03/26/2018 - 11:47 |
2 | 2

Don’t hope for these standards to come to Sri Lanka, really

03/27/2018 - 08:09 |
0 | 0

I remember driving at night through B.C. at night in our 3500 Cummins, we had the headlights dipped but everytime someone would pass in the opposite direction we would get flashed. Everyone thought we had the highbeams on, it started to get annoying especially when the truckers started doing it. After that every time someone flashed us my dad would flash them back quickly, just to let them know we werent using the high beams. Must have been the height at which the headlights were mounted on our truck…

03/26/2018 - 12:30 |
2 | 0


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