15% of motorists claim to have suffered a near-miss as a result of being dazzled by ‘modern headlights that are too bright’, according to the RAC.
A RAC survey of more than 2,000 motorists found that 58% believe modern vehicle headlights are causing collisions; while 80% believe there should be better regulation in place to prevent manufacturers fitting headlights that are too bright.
65% of respondents admitted to regularly being dazzled by oncoming headlights – even though they are dipped – with 10% of those saying it takes as long as 10 seconds for their vision to return to normal.
According to the RAC, a driver recovering from being dazzled for five seconds while driving at 60mph, would cover a distance of 134m – more than the length of a football pitch.
Among the 88% who think at least some modern car headlights are too bright, 49% claim to dazzled by headlights in their rear view mirror.
66% of respondents say they now struggle to tell if oncoming lights are on full or dipped beam, while 68% admit to having difficulty telling whether some approaching vehicles have their indicators on due to the brightness of the headlights.
Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, 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.
“Drivers also find it very distracting when they have to contend with being dazzled by bright lights in their rear view mirrors.
“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.”