Skip to content

LETTERS: Issue of new cars’ blinding headlights must be addressed



At what point are we going to have a public conversation about the blinding white headlights so many cars are utilizing today?

Our eyes are not designed to process such bright white light. Think I’m wrong? What in nature – outside of a lightning strike – is that white and that bright?

Nothing, except the reflection of the sun off snow, for which skiers don goggles and sunglasses. The sun’s direct light is yellow and warming, and the moon’s light, though white and cool, is much dimmer than what we get from the onslaught of so many modern headlights.

These lights – especially the brighter ones – completely obliterate peripheral vision.

Think I’m wrong? Next time you see a pair of bright white headlights coming your way, check to see how your peripheral vision is doing. It won’t be there.

Try and have a conversation with someone, or carry a thought into your head while looking into bright white lights. There’s a reason they’re used in interrogations, and why police forces use them to blind and disorient potential attackers.

If you’re the owner of a vehicle with such lights, I challenge you to turn them on, stand 50 metres – or 100, or 200 metres – in front of your vehicle and have any sort of nuanced conversation with anyone. You can’t do it.

Worse still, many people use these intensely bright lights when it’s not even dark outside. It’s dusk, or simply cloudy, and people still have them on at full intensity.

How the eye works, however, is that when the light is dim, the pupil opens larger to let more light in. Blasting the retina with intense white light at that point is akin to shouting in someone’s ear as they’re leaning in to listen to you in a room where conversation is at a whisper.

Tesla lights are notoriously bad in this regard, but they are certainly not alone.

Can we change this? Some of us just want to go for a walk outside without being subjected to a relentless and even painful visual assault.

Zi Paris, Surrey

Pop-up banner image