Ministers to launch review into headlight glare as drivers report being dazzled

Credit: PA

Research into headlight glare is to be launched amid concerns about drivers being dazzled, the government has announced.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said independent research will be commissioned to “better understand the root causes of driver glare and identify any further appropriate mitigations”.

It comes in response to a petition with more than 10,000 signatures which urged ministers to launch a review “to find solutions”.

The RAC, which has campaigned on the issue, said the topic “struck a chord with motorists” and the study will be a “golden opportunity” to “get to the bottom of the problem”.

A recent survey commissioned by the RAC suggested 85% drivers affected by headlight glare believe the problem is getting worse.

The poll of 2,000 UK drivers also indicated that 89% think some car headlights are too bright.

It found 67% of those affected by headlight glare said being dazzled forces them to slow down considerably, while 64% believe some headlights are so bright they risk causing accidents.

In January, ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reported on the findings of the RAC poll

The RAC believes headlights appear brighter on modern cars because the use of LED rather than traditional halogen bulbs creates a more intense and focused beam, which improves a driver’s view but can be to the detriment of other road users.

Other potential factors include badly aligned headlights and the increase in the number of cars that sit higher on the road, such as SUVs

In its response to the petition, the DfT also said international rules requiring new cars to have mandatory automatic headlight levelling based on the weight being carried were agreed by the United Nations in April last year and will come into force in September 2027.

The department expressed its belief that “these tougher requirements will help alleviate the number of cases where road users are dazzled”.

Government figures show that since 2013 there have been an average of 280 collisions on Britain’s roads every year where dazzling headlights were a contributory factor.

Of these, six a year involved someone losing their life.

RAC road safety spokesman Rod Dennis said: “The fact the government has listened to drivers’ concerns and heeded our calls to examine the complex issue of headlight glare in more detail marks a real turning point.

“The topic has undoubtedly struck a chord with motorists up and down the country, with many people contacting us directly to call for something to be done.

“Brighter headlights, while giving drivers a better view of the road ahead, are clearly causing other road users significant problems.”

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