Bright Headlights Dazzling Motorists
Drivers are being blinded by LED headlights which far ‘too-bright’.
These bright LED bulbs that are becoming increasingly more common in newer cars are being blamed for temporarily blinding other drivers which could, potentially cause a fatal accident.
One in six drivers say they have narrowly avoided an accident because of the blinding effects of the new headlights, the motoring body said.
What is even more worrying is that two-thirds of drivers say they are regularly dazzled by oncoming headlights even though the headlights are dipped.
When asked, the majority of those affected by the glare said it can take up to five seconds before they can see clearly again. The shocking fact is that a car travelling at 60mph would cover 134 meters in that time. Road safety spokesman with the RAC in the UK, 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.”
The complaints have led the Department for Transport setting up a United Nations working group to find out why more drivers feel headlights have become overly bright.
LEDs which stand for, light-emitting diodes, have a lifespan and electrical efficiency several times greater than incandescent and fluorescent lamps.
Experts said it was “no coincidence” that makers of upmarket cars were using LED lights instead of traditional halogen bulbs.
Stephen Dixon, a lighting expert, said the rise of LEDs in headlights was likely to be why people perceived them to be brighter. In a newspaper interview he said:
“LED light is more directional. Rather than a spread of light which comes from a halogen bulb, LED light is more focused.
“It is also a traditionally brighter light which appears as blue-white, hence why it appears brighter in the dark.”
LED lights are most commonly found in upmarket cars as well as top-spec versions of mid-range vehicles.
Cars sold in Ireland and the UK are fitted with headlamps that conform to standards set by the European Union in line with the United Nations’ World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations.
The function of headlights is to illuminate the road ahead while not affecting the vision of other road users.
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