The government has announced it will launch an independent review into headlight glare from vehicles, amid claims drivers are being “dazzled”.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said independent research will be commissioned to “better understand the root causes of driver glare and identify any further appropriate mitigations”.

It comes in response to a petition urging the government to look into the “problem of some headlights causing oncoming traffic drivers to be unable to see clearly and safely” which currently has more than 10,000 signatures.

The petition, set up by a member of the public but campaigned for by the RAC, also reflects a recent study by the breakdown assistance provider which found as many as eight-in-10 drivers believe that the problem of headlight glare is getting worse.

Drivers say they get 'dazzled' by headlights being 'too bright'

A recent survey of 2,000 drivers found that 89% think headlights on modern cars are too bright – and some 91% say they get dazzled and 74% say that it happens regularly.

In response to the petition, the DfT also said international rules requiring new cars to have mandatory automatic headlight levelling based on the weight being carried were agreed by the United Nations in April last year and will come into force in September 2027.

The department expressed its belief that “these tougher requirements will help alleviate the number of cases where road users are dazzled”.

You can see the full update from the Department for Transport (DfT) here.

Why is headlight glare getting worse?

The RAC believes headlights appear brighter on modern cars because they use LED rather than traditional halogen bulbs creating a more intense and focused beam, which improves a driver’s view but can be to the detriment of other road users.

Other potential factors include badly aligned headlights and the increase in the number of cars that sit higher on the road, such as SUVs.

RAC road safety spokesman Rod Dennis said: “The fact the government has listened to drivers’ concerns and heeded our calls to examine the complex issue of headlight glare in more detail marks a real turning point.

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“The topic has undoubtedly struck a chord with motorists up and down the country, with many people contacting us directly to call for something to be done.

“Brighter headlights, while giving drivers a better view of the road ahead, are clearly causing other road users significant problems.”

However, the petition needs to receive at least 100,000 signatures for the issue to be discussed in parliament.

Baroness Hayter, who has also urged the government to take action over headlights, said: “This is a victory for all those drivers affected by glare who’ve complained to their MP, signed the parliamentary petition, or indeed sought help from an optometrist only to discover the problem was with headlights, and not their eyes.

“This is an issue the RAC has long campaigned on and I am delighted the Government has recognised there is a real problem.

“We look forward to discussing its research in due course.”