Motorists warned of the 'best thing to do' to avoid blinding others with headlight glare on roads

Motorists warned of the 'best thing to do' to avoid blinding others with headlight glare on roads

The panel discusses the impact of headlight glare on elderly drivers

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 11/01/2024

- 14:18

Around 1.6 million vehicles failed their MOT because of a poor headlight aim

Drivers are being urged to make changes to their habits to ensure they do not dazzle other motorists when on the road after new data found that headlight glare was becoming a more pressing issue.

Data from the RAC found that eight-in-10 people say they are affected by headlight glare from other vehicles when driving at night.

A further 85 per cent believe the problem is getting worse, prompting road safety experts to call on the Government to introduce changes to protect drivers.

Suggestions have been put forward that the increase in people being dazzled is related to a growing number of cars being fitted with LED headlights.

Car headlight

Many road safety experts are calling on the Government to update headlight regulations


These tend to be more intense and create a more focused beam which can cause a difference in how the eye reacts to an LED compared to a conventional halogen bulb.

LED lights can allow the driver to have a better view of the road ahead but can also cause chaos for other motorists around them.

Shockingly, data has found that 1.6 million or five per cent of Class 4 vehicles failed their MOT because of a poor headlight aim.

Research from the DVSA in 2016 found that headlamp aim consistently tops the MOT compliance survey as one of the most likely items to be assessed incorrectly by testers.

Louise Thomas, car insurance expert at, urged drivers to take action if they are impacted by other cars and their headlights.

She added: “If you are dazzled by other cars when driving, the best thing to do is to slow down and drive carefully.

“But take care doing so if there are others driving behind you. And if you find it's the car behind you which is dazzling, adjusting your rear view mirror could help reduce glare.

“It also helps to keep your windscreens free from dirt as this often creates glare too. And if you wear glasses, lenses with an anti-reflective coating could make a difference.”

Louise Thomas also highlighted how drivers should adjust their own headlights to avoid dazzling other people who struggle to drive in the dark.

This is especially pertinent in the winter when motorists are on the roads before sunrise and after sunset when travelling to work.

Peter Waddell, CEO of, also underlined the risk involved with headlight glare, referring to RAC data which found that five per cent of drivers have nearly been involved in a collision.

He called on the Government to revise laws surrounding minimum vehicle standards to ensure that motorists are not adversely affected by the glare from particularly strong headlights.

The expert added: “There's a need for the government to collaborate with car manufacturers and lighting technology experts.

“Together, they can explore innovations in headlight design that ensure road safety without compromising visibility."


Car headlights at night

More vehicles are being fitted with LED headlights rather than 'traditional' halogen bulbs


"Enforcement of existing regulations regarding headlight use and maintenance should be intensified.

“Routine checks during MOTs for headlight alignment and brightness should be more rigorous to ensure compliance."

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