Have you been dazzled by headlamp glare recently? Many people have – especially with the very latest vehicles having laser-powered headlamps which could dazzle even on dipped beam. Of course, the car makers are very proud of the searchlight quality of their latest products, trumpeting their contribution to road safety – but what about the poor driver coming from the opposite direction around a corner only to be dazzled completely by a tall 4×4 coming the other way? It is becoming a talking point, a common problem.
A recent RAC survey showed that 91% of people said that some or most modern car headlamps are too bright, with 70% thinking that some such headlights are an accident risk.
The blue tint shows this is a laser powered headlamp. The lasers don’t shine directly onto the road but use mirrors and a phosphorous ‘doped’ lens to make white light up to ten times more intense than previous headlamp systems.
Modern headlamps really are brighter; BMW claim their laser headlamps are twice bright as previous systems. In the USA, originally such high-powered headlamps were banned, but that’s changed since the development of ‘adaptive’ headlamps where the dazzling portion of the beam is dynamically shut off shading drivers likely to be dazzled either by the direct beam, or its intensity in their rear-view mirrors.
For the MOT though there is a problem. There’s no MOT failure for headlamps that whilst aimed correctly, are so bright they will dazzle oncoming drivers, even on dipped beam – perhaps there should be.