Headlight glare is getting worse, drivers say

Around nine in ten drivers are regularly dazzled by oncoming headlights, and many believe that new style headlights are making the problem worse.

Half of regular drivers say they are suffering more from the effect of dazzling headlights than they were just 12 months ago, according to research conducted by the RAC.

In the survey of 1,215 motorists, 91% said that 'some' or 'most' car headlights are too bright. Six in ten regularly get dazzled by other vehicles' headlights even though they are dipped, and a similar proportion said they were often unable to tell if oncoming headlights are dipped or on full beam.

Another 45% complained they get dazzled by headlights in their rear-view mirror, while 70% believe some lights are so bright they represent an accident risk.

Official government data shows there are around 300 collisions every year where dazzling headlights are a factor, the RAC said.

As for the causes of headline glare, half (51%) blamed vehicles that sit higher on the road, such as sports utility vehicles (SUVs), and 55% believe modern xenon or LED headlights are particularly dazzling.

The research also found that some drivers might be inadvertently causing glare themselves -- either by not adjusting their lights correctly, or by having badly-aligned lights. For instance, the aim of the headlight beam is affected by the vehicle's load yet 47% of drivers either never adjust their car headlights up or down when carrying different loads, or don't do it regularly enough.

If you're often dazzled by other vehicles' lights, night driving glasses can help. They have yellow-tinted lenses to help reduce glare and dazzle from bright lights, and some are polarised -- like many sunglasses -- to reduce unwanted reflections, a recent Metro article explained.

The RAC also recommends adjusting your rear-view mirror more often. And when you next change your car, look for one with a self-dimming rear-view mirror and even darkened glass (sometimes called 'sunset glass') to reduce the bright light that reaches you.

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