How to avoid the glare from oncoming headlights
The ability to see what’s ahead of you while driving is underrated until you’re blinded by the glaring headlights from oncoming traffic. These headlight glares are dangerous to drivers, especially when driving at night. Headlight glares can catch drivers off guard and cause them to lose vision of what is ahead, leading to a crash that may prove fatal.
Additionally, glare from headlights can annoy drivers as they tend to distract them. This article considers some steps drivers can take to avoid glare from oncoming headlights.
Steps to avoid the glare from oncoming headlights
There are simple steps that drivers can take to help them avoid the dangers associated with oncoming headlight glares. Some of these steps include;
Avoid looking directly at oncoming headlights
An essential way to avoid the glare from oncoming headlights is to restrain from looking directly at the headlights from oncoming traffic. Making eye contact with the glare from headlights temporarily blinds the driver and causes them to lose sight of what is ahead. Of course, this also depends on the types of headlights that cars in the opposite lane are using, since LED bulbs provide much more glare than halogen.
When driving, it is preferable to look towards the right of the bright light as this will help mitigate the effect of the glare from the headlights. Drivers should note that taking their eyes completely off the road to avoid the glare from the headlights is dangerous.
Use protective eyeglasses
Protective eyeglasses are a convenient way to avoid glare from oncoming headlights. There are a variety of glasses and lenses that aid in reducing the effect of the glare from headlights. Using these protective eyeglasses or anti-glare lenses can also help reduce the damage that sudden bright light can cause to the eye. Also, anti-glare lenses or glasses help reduce eye strain when driving at night.
Clean all glass parts of your vehicle thoroughly
Most drivers are oblivious that the buildup of dirt on the glass parts of their vehicles can cause light to get refracted and worsen the effect of the glare from oncoming headlights. Cultivating the habit of having all glass parts of your car cleaned thoroughly at all times is a suitable way of avoiding the glare from oncoming headlights. Drivers should take note that when cleaning the glasses, they should also clean the internal part of the glasses as they also can contribute to enhancing the glare from headlights.
Clean your wiper blades
Sticking to cleaning only the glass parts of your vehicle or your windshields without also attending to the wiper blades will temporarily solve the problem. The wiper blades help clean up the windshields, and in doing so, they gather dirt. When they are left uncleaned, they transfer the dirt on them to the windshields, leading to the refraction of light. Also, drivers should replace damaged wiper blades with new ones as they play a vital role in keeping the windshields clean.
Adjust your car mirrors in the correct position
Car mirrors are significant contributors to the glare from headlights. Your car mirrors, if positioned wrongly, can enhance the effects of the glare from headlights. To avoid being taken unawares by glaring headlights due to misaligned car mirrors, ensure that your car mirrors get appropriately adjusted to minimize the glare from headlights. Always have the mirrors positioned to see your vehicle’s rear corners.
Ensure that your headlights are correctly aligned
Aside from the headlights from oncoming vehicles, your headlights can also cause glare if misaligned. When your vehicle’s headlights get positioned incorrectly, they tend to cause a distraction. Adjusting your headlights in the correct position helps limit glare possibilities. Also, having your headlights cleaned helps counter the effect of the glare from oncoming headlights.
Protect your eyes from bright light during the day
Protecting your eyes from bright light during the day is highly advisable for drivers who move at night. When the eyes are exposed to bright light during the day without protection, it affects their performance at night. It is advisable to wear protective eyeglasses during the day to limit the amount of light that gets into the eye.
Visit an ophthalmologist
Eye care is very important for drivers as the eyes need to be in perfect form to avoid vision failure while driving. Drivers should visit an ophthalmologist regularly to have their eyes checked. The exposure of the eyes to bright light during the day and at night from oncoming headlights can affect its performance. If your eyes hurt or you experience blurry vision, it is time to have your eyes checked by a professional. Use the recommended glasses to avoid further damage to your eyes and limit the risk of crashing while driving.
Adjust your rearview mirror to night settings
Modern cars have rearview mirrors that can be adjusted to the night setting mood. Changing your rearview mirror to night setting mode will reduce the light from it, making it less harsh to your vision. For cars without night view settings, it is advisable to wear anti-glare glasses to lessen the severe effects of glaring headlights.
Take a break
A superb way of avoiding the glare from oncoming headlights is by taking regular breaks after driving for a while. Driving for an extended period, especially at night, can cause eye strain, and driving with strained eyes is risky as the driver may not be able to see clearly. Take regular breaks and let your eyes rest before continuing your journey.
Turn off the lights inside the car
Driving with the lights inside the car turned on can affect the driver’s vision. Only turn on the cabin lights when the vehicle is not in motion, especially at night; when the cabin lights get turned on while driving at night, the driver may not see the road ahead clearly. However, with the lights turned off, it is easy to see the road ahead and your surroundings with the help of your headlights.
Hazards of glare from oncoming headlights
Multiple hazards tag along with the glare from oncoming headlights. Some of these hazards are fatal to the driver, while others can cause severe problems. Some effects of the glare from oncoming headlights include;
The glare from oncoming headlights can limit the driver’s visibility, causing them to lose sight of what is in front of them. The glare interferes with the driver’s vision and blinds them temporarily. In cases where drivers attempt to squint to avoid the harsh glare from the headlights, their vision of what’s ahead of them is limited. According to the well-known safety driving system, Smith System 5 Keys, visibility is crucial for safe driving and you should only pay attention to the position of your car on the road. So, getting distracted by the lights is also a bad thing for your safety.
The eye is sensitive and can easily be affected by the bright lights from oncoming traffic. Sudden bright light getting into the eyes can lead to severe eye problems. To avoid eye damage from glare from oncoming headlights, drivers must use anti-glare glasses to reduce the effect of the bright lights from vehicles in front of them.
Headlight glare can compromise a driver’s vision of their surroundings. The reflection and refraction of light from oncoming traffic can create illusions for the driver, causing them to see things that are not there and not to see things that are there. When the driver’s vision is compromised, the possibility of an accident is high.
How to adjust car mirrors to minimize the glare from oncoming headlights
Adjusting your car mirrors in the correct position significantly minimizes the glare from oncoming headlights. The American automobile association (AAA) suggests the following steps to change your mirrors correctly.
To adjust the side mirrors, the American automobile association suggests that you;
- Bring your body to the left and place your head against the window.
- Toggle the mirror at the driver’s side enough to see the left rear corner of your vehicle.
- Bring your body to the right and adjust the passenger side mirror to see your vehicle’s right back corner.
The glare from oncoming headlights can lead to severe problems for drivers. It is important to note that while driving, especially at night, drivers should take significant steps to ensure that the glare from oncoming headlights does not interfere with the driver’s vision. Protective eyewear and anti-glare eyeglasses are efficient ways of minimizing the effect of glass from oncoming traffic. Most importantly, taking rest regularly after driving for a long time helps ease the strain on the eye.
What is headlight glare?
Headlight glare is a momentary loss of vision drivers experience when their eyes come in contact with the headlights from oncoming traffic.
What should you do to avoid the glare of headlights at night?
To avoid the glare of headlights coming at you at night, refrain from looking directly at headlights from oncoming traffic. Look towards the right of the glow to reduce the effect on your eyes.
How do I reduce the glare on my oncoming headlights?
Protective eyewear and anti-glare glasses are excellent ways to reduce the glare from oncoming headlights.