While super bright headlights may help the driver who has them see better at night, said headlights can be blinding to on-coming drivers and the people the person with the super bright headlights is driving behind.
This can cause other drivers to not be able to see the road, as well as have blind spots in their vision that take a few minutes to go away if they look at the headlights straight on. These lights can even light up the cabins of cars that pass them or are in front of them.
As such, while super bright headlights may seem great for the person who has them, they can be downright dangerous to everyone else on the road. Many people are afraid to drive at night in general, but these lights make it even worse.
As such, you may be wondering whether or not there are glasses that help with these super bright headlights.
About Night Driving Safety
About half of car crash fatalities occur at night, with 3/4s of these fatalities being pedestrians. As such, it’s no wonder that people often try to avoid driving at night.
Cars need brighter headlights than they’ve had in the past for safety reasons. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that low-beam lights should illuminate the road at 325 feet, as this is how far a person would need to see an obstacle and stop when traveling at 60 mph.
Headlights can help to prevent night accidents when drivers follow traffic regulations. However, now, many people complain that other peoples’ headlights are so bright that they actually make driving at night even more dangerous.
Are Headlights Brighter Than They Used To Be?
If you feel like headlights are brighter than they used to be, you’re not crazy. Car headlights have switched from sealed-beam to halogen bulbs. This matters because halogen bulbs use reflectors to spread light outward, which makes them seem brighter than they are.
Many cars now use LEDs instead of halogens. LEDs seem brighter than halogens. This is because LED lights cause more light to reach eye level as they cast a wider beam of light. They also typically have a blue tinge to them.
Blue-tinged light feels brighter to people than warm yellow does because it is difficult for human eyes to process blue wavelengths. Blue light focuses just ahead of the retina, rather than on it.
Additionally, lights have gotten smaller over time, which makes emitted light seem brighter. Thus, even though these lights meet headlight requirements, like standard headlights, they don’t seem that way to the human eye. Instead, you see super bright headlights.
How Tall Cars Are Matters
SUVs and pickups have lights that are higher up due to taller bodies. This makes them more likely to shine in people’s eyes and is why they can light up the cabins of cars that they are driving behind.
Combine a taller body with light that is difficult for the human eye to process, and then you have headlights that seem super bright and blinding.
Are Super Bright Headlights Really Dangerous?
Car manufacturers and people with super bright headlights argue that these lights aren’t as bright as those complaining about them make it seem. However, complaints of super bright headlights continue to increase. Many people think that such lights should be illegal, though laws are slow to change. Some say that lights are so bright, it physically hurts their eyes.
Trying to find a balance to make the road safe for the person driving and the other drivers on the road is still in the works. In Europe, adaptive beam technology is widespread. A bipartisan bill in the United States passed designating that cars have this to avoid other drivers by 2023. This automatically switches high-beam lights to low-beam when the car senses an oncoming car.
Is It Your Eyes?
We’ve talked about how certain types of light are harder for human eyes to process. However, if you are struggling to see at night, it could be because of other reasons.
Astigmatism can make it harder to see at night because your cornea is irregularly shaped. As such, you may struggle with night-time driving and feel unsafe going out at night.
Are There Glasses That Can Help?
You can get both prescription and non-prescription night driving glasses. These have a yellow tint to them which filters out the blue light that causes that glare. Non-prescription ones can be purchased over the counter. Prescription ones can be ordered for you. Anti-reflective coatings can be added to your lenses in order to reduce glare.
Night-driving glasses create a contrast that makes it easier to make things out at night. They can also help in hazy or foggy conditions.
However, yellow lenses reduce the amount of light that enters the eye, which can lead to vision reduction. Studies show night driving glasses do not improve night vision. Some people say that these glasses help while others do not notice a difference.
If you think that you might benefit from night driving glasses, talk to your eye doctor.
Wolcott Optical provides all sorts of glasses, including blue light glasses. If you think you could benefit from night driving glasses, please don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about your options.