Avoiding Headlight Glare
Written by Greg on May 22, 2014
Texas has hundreds of thousands of miles of two lane highways. Headlight glare can be a major problem on highways that are not divided by median.
Danger of Bright Headlights
You are not alone if bright headlights bother you when you drive at night. The newer technology headlights that produce much brighter light have exacerbated the problem of headlight glare.
LED and other high-intensity lights can be especially annoying when viewed head-on. Even when the lights are in low beam, owners report being flashed repeatedly by cars believing that they were on high beam.
Headlights cannot exceed a 54-inch height limit that is provided in federal safety standards. Large trucks and even pickup trucks may have headlights and a higher level than a passenger car and can cause other problems in of itself.
Older drivers seem to especially have problems with headlight glare at night. It takes older people much longer to recover from glare than it does teenage drivers. Additionally, the lighter colored your eyes the more sensitive they are prone to be with light.
Keeping your headlights clean and your windshield spotless is a first step to avoiding problems at night. Dirty windshields can make headlight glare worse and also consider replacing your wiper blades to keep your windshields clear.
When you are confronted with headlight glare that bothers your eyes, look down and to the right. Look at the white line on the right side of the road instead of directly into the likes. Using this technique, you can still see vehicles around you but will not be as bothered by the headlight in your eyes.
Take advantage of your rearview mirrors “nighttime” settings for vehicles behind you. Changing the mirror will change the angle of the rearview mirror and deflect the headlights in your eyes.
Persons that are 60 years of age and older should have their eyes checked for conditions that may make the headlight glare worse. Cataracts and other problems can make driving at night much more difficult for older people.
Many healthcare professionals encourage users to wear antireflective coating on their prescription eyewear, which reduces internal reflections on the eyeglasses. AR – coded glasses actually transmit more light and thus improve vision at night.
Highway Patrol officers have reported increased vision at nighttime using AR coated lenses.
Some newer cars are coming equipped with self-dimming mirrors that can automatically detect bright headlights and adjust accordingly.
Frequent rest stops have also proven effective in reducing nighttime headlight glare strain.
Finally, if you desire to have brighter headlights for your own vehicle, consider replacing the headlights with those recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Be careful of aftermarket headlights even with fancy names.
While it is impossible to avoid all headlight glare particularly on two lane highways, you may be able to minimize its impact by the techniques suggested herein.