modern headlights

Are Modern Headlights Blinding Drivers?

Driving at night is not for everyone. Dim lighting, dark road signs, and hidden pedestrians create a recipe for disaster for some drivers. However, thanks to advancements in headlight safety, the headlamps on display today are far superior to ones in the past. Driving at night doesn’t have to invoke the same fear it once did because brighter lights come standard in new makes and models. Modern headlights are so powerful that disadvantages have emerged as a result. Today, while illumination is greater than ever, the likelihood of blinding headlights while driving is more prevalent. 

Are modern headlights causing a hazard while driving? Is there any end to the headlight glare? Find out the answers to these concerning topics below. 

Are modern headlights causing injuries or accidents?

After the New York Times released an exposé on blinding headlights, many drivers began to question their own experience while driving at night. Most can recount a time when an oncoming sedan or SUV left them completely blinded. Some are so against the new light technologies that they’ve joined a ban on blinding headlights on Are LED and HID headlamps causing accidents? The question remains. But, there is reason to believe that the blinding has become a distraction to drivers. Is the light too much to bear?   

As headlight enthusiasts, we know headlamp innovation continues to get better. While those LED and HID bulbs might trigger some inattentional blindness, they are also keeping our roads safer with better illumination for drivers. Modern headlights are what we need, but I’m sure in time they will continue to advance. At least to the point where eyesight concerns subside. 

Don’t get blinded by the light 

When you take a look at headlight history, it’s pretty remarkable the technologies that exist today. Modern headlights have transformed the way we see at night. One thing’s for sure, it is possible to get blinded by those powerful LED bulbs. Our best tip is to glance to the right of your lane when powerful high beams are approaching. It may not solve the issue of headlight glare, but it will help you maintain your safety and avoid further distraction while driving. Moreover, you won’t find yourself getting lost in the light ahead. Instead, you’ll keep your focus on your lane and safe driving practices. 

On the plus side, the glare might not last forever

While car lighting standards may not be perfect, the advancements that have been made are sure impressive. First and foremost, adaptive headlights are changing the game in headlight blindness. Each year more and more makes and models integrate this headlight technology into standard trims. What makes these innovative headlamps outstanding is how they adjust to the movement of your vehicle. If you’re veering to the right, your adaptive headlamps use cornering assistance technology to shift their focus to the direction the car is moving. Therefore, oncoming traffic shouldn’t feel the the strong impact of blinding headlights. 

I think we can all agree that modern headlight innovation is just getting started. While the blinding while driving might be a hot topic now, it is much better than the yellow bulbs that used to guide drivers at night. Headlight safety and driver safety are at their highest point with the incorporation of modern headlamps. Not to mention, the use of car lighting is taking on a new form, with manufacturers like Hyundai redefining how to incorporate car lightning into the mold of a vehicle. Basically, the positive changes will continue to come, and hopefully eyesight will be kept in mind.   

Have you been blinded by modern headlights? Share your experience below. 


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Michaella Malone
Michaella Malone is a content specialist and full-time freelancer with 5+ years of experience working with small businesses on online platforms. She is a graduate of Florida State University (Go Noles!) and avid traveller, having visited over 25 countries and counting. In addition to blogging, ghostwriting, and social media content, she has contributed to the development of English as a Second Language (ESL) curriculums for international programs.


    1. Better lighting is different from brighter lighting. It is awesome to see light allocated more effectively with adaptive systems. Better visibility improves driver and pedestrian safety without question.

    2. Conversions maybe, modern headlights, no.

    3. I feel this glare mostly comes from people that upgrade their headlights with HID or LED replacements that arent really designed for their headlight housing.

    4. I remember having this issue but only when people use their high-beams when they aren’t supposed to.

    5. As far as I understand it, headlights that blind other drivers are usually installed incorrectly, angled too far up from the surface of the road. Unless they’re mounted on a vehicle that’s super high up, a properly installed light shouldn’t be unduly bright.

    6. Current headlight technology is clearly an improvement over vehicle lighting from a decade ago. However, lighting engineers seem to be overlooking the oncoming glare problem, and instead are focusing on improved lighting for the person in that vehicles drivers seat. A few manufacturers have incorporated a LED headlight with a definitive cut-off line for their headlights… those lights are truly great, as they not only improve distance and beam spread, but completely eliminate oncoming glare for other folks on the road. That type LED lighting should be a requirement by the NHTSB, for any manufacturer that wishes to incorporate high intensity headlights in their vehicles.
      That being said, I believe 100% of today’s drivers have been blinded by oncoming headlights at some time in the past 5 or so years. For me, an older driver, I find this problem to be the greatest hazard of driving today. 😊

    7. New headlight technology (especially in the last 5 years) have made night driving visibility better, this is very true. But it comes at a price, and the result will sooner or later be fatal for many. The price is (with very few exceptions) – that most driver that are “on-coming” are temporarily blinded by these new lights, if even for a few seconds. It doesn’t appear any of our law makers are taking this problem seriously, but there should be laws about this bright light/blinding problem and it is not high beam lighting I am talking about, but low beam brightness. I and other are constantly being blinded at night by these lights ( even though they on-coming car has them on low beam. ) After being blinded by these lights, it takes several seconds for your vision to fully recover. We all know what can happen in just a few seconds of distraction. That is why so many states now have laws forbidding texting while driving. Our law makers should enact rules on all vehicles (old and new) that limit the amount of light Kelvins [color of light: yellow to white to blue, etc] and/or brightness. But I guess that is wishful thinking, as I am sure that there will be too many lobby groups fighting any new laws in the auto industry. So we might as well get used to more accidents “caused” by these awful lights. (Oh yeah. …they are great if you are driving on a lonely dark roadway. But how often does that happen to the average driver?)

    8. Hate hate hate the LED lights. It may be safer for the one driver but super hazardous for the many oncoming vehicles. How is it the needs of the one outweighs the needs of the many. Spock would never approve

    9. Honestly, the advice to look off to the side of the road when being blinded by led headlamps is ridiculous. What should a driver do if they’re facing a long line of blinding headlamps? Close their eyes and pray they survive the next mile? How are we supposed to drive safely? These lights are insanity and need to be outlawed.

    10. These LED and HID lights are great for lighting up the road ahead but I find that when they are on coming they seem to be cutting straight through me and then like everybody says for 3 or 4 seconds afterwards I’ve got these blinding white dots in my vision and I can’t see properly.
      The R&D departments decided to invent the headlight which goes from high beam to low beam automatically when another car is coming towards it that’s which is all very well until you reach the Brow of a hill. Car coming over the Brow the hill has automatic dipping headlights which take their freaking time to adjust as someone else decides to drive up behind you someone else has come up behind you and is now casting a shadow on the road in front of me where you can’t actually see anything of the road at all so couple that with the car coming over the Brow of the hill and you’ve got yourself a lovely bright light sandwich.

      I drive with the old lights and can see quite clearly for the speed i travel at.

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