The increasing use of Xenon car headlights, which are up to three times brighter than standard halogen bulbs, is sparking a debate about whether they increase or decrease safety.
40% of road traffic collisions take place in the hours of darkness. Driver tiredness and alcohol related factors play a part, but poor lighting is also considered a significant factor.
The growing popularity of Xenon lights is based on the simple premise that the more you can see, the safer you will be.
On the one hand, reports say that Xenon lights viewing radius is increased by up to 70%, which helps to illuminate blind spots on the road and enable drivers to see hazards such as debris, animals and pedestrians.
However, there are counter arguments that the lights have dangerous implications for safety as their brightness can blind other motorists.
Ken Parham, a London cabby, was so disturbed by the lights that he and Howard Redwood, a driver training consultant, have set up an online petition to persuade the government to investigate what they consider a serious problem.
Ken Parham says: “I was getting regularly blinded by fellow taxi drivers. I’ve spoken to hundreds of people and about 75% agreed that there appears to be a problem with this new type of headlight.”
Click here to view the petition.