What to do to avoid dazzling the headlights of oncoming cars

What to do, that headlights of oncoming cars didn’t dazzle on the highway

Dazzle from headlights while driving on the highway at night is a serious problem, directly affecting safety. To minimize it, it is worth to use the recommendations tested by experienced drivers and manufacturers of special insuring gadgets.


Far-beam headlights or beams of improperly adjusted lights create serious risks. The driver may be momentarily blinded, as a result of disorientation and loss of control over the road situation.

The first thing to do if this happens to you – is to signal to the oncoming driver, blinking high beam and at the same time, if possible, turn on the “emergency stop”, which will inform those who are behind you of the problem.

At the same time, you should slowly but surely reduce the speed without changing the driving lane. To cope with dazzle, try to look away from the headlights of the “oncoming” person. Alternatively, focus your attention on the right side of the hood, controlling the roadside and part of the road. This way you can focus again and get used to the light without losing control of the road.

A not uncommon scenario is when you are disturbed by the headlight from a passing car following you.

To show the “rear” that he blinding you with his high beam, turn on the “emergency light”, and do it for a long time – a short blinking can be perceived as a not clear why and to whom it is addressed gratitude. You can also use the toolkit of your rear-view mirror to solve the problem.

As a rule, there is a day/night switch or automatic dimming. Sometimes it makes sense to simply turn the cabin mirror down. You may also need to adjust the exterior mirrors slightly, if they do not have a self-dimming function. Even a slight change of the angle of mirror elements can reduce the degree of “blinding”. If the problem is not solved in this way, it makes sense to put things (clothes, bags and other trifles) in front of the rear window, blocking the light stream from the cars coming behind you.

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Special “night” glasses with yellow, orange or transparent polarized lenses will help to remove or minimize the blinding effect.

Their main function is to protect against reflection of shining objects – headlights of oncoming cars, wet asphalt and windshield.

Polarizing lenses pick up these polarized waves and extinguish them. Therefore the driver is less dazzled by headlights of oncoming cars. However, such glasses are still not a panacea, especially if you bought not a quality product, but a cheap fake. Except for polarizing glasses, professional drivers also use special polarizing screens which are fixed near original sunscreens.

Surprisingly, but easy manipulations with your car may significantly reduce the dazzle effect from “oncoming” people.

First of all, replace windshield wipers. If they are worn, a thin film of mud is inevitably deposited on the “windshield” surface, which gives glare and worsens visibility. Wiping the windshield interior may also help. By removing the greasy and dusty film from the inside, you will not only improve your vision, but also minimize glare.

Experienced chauffeurs on long night runs successfully reduce the effect of dazzle from “oncoming”, fitting behind a truck or a tall truck.

Large dimensions, especially wide and long trailer, will work as a kind of a curtain from the headlights of oncoming cars. True, in this case, most likely, you will have to sacrifice your time and reduce speed, because the cruising speed of trucks rarely exceeds 100 km/h.

One more advice from professionals – keep plugged in dim cabin light. In this case your eyes will adapt to the light field and a bright stream of light from oncoming cars will not be so irritating. However, it is even easier to squint (preferably with the left eye) when approaching an oncoming car with intensively burning headlights, and open it after driving away from the oncoming car. Use a sun visor as well. Position it so that the light from the headlights does not strike you directly in the eyes.

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Tint the rear window or hang a curtain on it. Keep special driving glasses on hand, or install a polarizing screen in front of the sunblind.

If the situation with “blinding” became a regular problem, the reason is probably a worn or chipped windshield of your car. The conclusion is obvious – the detail should be replaced.

Finally, if you regularly drive at night, buy and try a special antiglare lamp, powered from the salon outlet – you may purchase such in specialized stores. The device with blue light may be placed on a suction cup on the windshield above the driver’s head and it will reduce the time of eye adaptation to the “light shock” by 20-30%. There are also on sale special LED panels, mounted on the sun visor and automatically switching on at the command of built-in light sensors.

Lifahk – how to avoid being blinded by oncoming car headlights

In this article I would like to touch upon such a sensitive topic as dazzle of headlights in the dark. If in the city it is not so actual in view of good illumination of streets, so out of town on the lighted track it is a headache for many drivers.

I was motivated to write this article by another argument in the blog of one of Drive2 users, who responded to my suggestion to avoid dazzling in a way, which I will voice at the end of this article – “Why should I do anything?” And the image of fireflies that fly into the light of lampposts in the darkness instantly popped into my mind… Indeed – why? Let them go on blinding…

So, dazzle by headlights of oncoming cars. Actually, there are several reasons for this problem.

Xenon lamps in reflector optics

One, probably the most important of the reasons and the most hotly debated – is the installation by car owners of xenon lamps in the reflector headlights of their cars. There are many ardent supporters and opponents of this topic, I will not stand up for either the first or the second. I’ll notice only – if your car headlights are not designed for installation of xenon lamps, you need at least a full retrofit of optics (that is, the installation of lenses, autocorrector and a headlight washer) in order to be absolutely sure that your installed “xenon” will not blind anybody. This operation is specific for each car model, and it is better to visit specialized forums on the model of your car to analyze this topic. Another thing that many people forget about is the adjustment of headlights after the installation of xenon lamps. The operation takes in fact a few minutes, and the effect of it is difficult not to appreciate. Also a very important point is the color temperature of the xenon bulbs, selected by the owner. The higher it is, the more “blind” his lamps are. Let’s specify – blinding, but not shining. I think the use of lamps with a color temperature higher than 5000k is unreasonable. Except for aesthetics, they are of no benefit either to their owner or to the driver of the oncoming car.

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Incorrect adjustment of headlights

It is not a secret that very often the technical inspection of old cars is not performed by their owners. For example, when replacing the whole headlight, its adjustment is not carried out. As a result, we with you observe “screwed up” light of headlights. And despite the fact that the passing light is on, we perceive it as a driving beam, which we are trying to inform the driver of the oncoming car with a brief inclusion of their driving beam. The answer is of course not predictable – either the dipped beam was really on or we get such a “response” that you’d better not panic…

Tight left turn

The headlights of the cars with the left turn are adjusted not to dazzle the oncoming cars and to light the side of the road well. In case of a prolonged left turn, the oncoming car may dazzle you for some time with absolutely correctly adjusted optics for one simple reason, you will be in the zone of its roadside which will be diligently illuminated by headlights.

Right-hand drive cars

Often the owners of right-hand drive cars, which were imported to our country, do not change optics in them. As a result of the reason, voiced above, only mirror – for the light of their headlights you are constantly in the curb zone. They glare all the time, regardless of the type of bulb installed.

Just forgetfulness or daydreaming

Very often it happens that drivers, switching light from low to high beam and driving long and monotonously along the desert highway, forget about the fact, that they drive with high beam and blinding the oncoming cars.

The climax, or what they don’t teach in driving schools.

It is possible to prove your case long and vehemently, to cover the driver who has blinded you with swear words, to curse the manufacturers of Chinese xenon and so forth. However, I’d like to share one trick – not a trick, let’s call it a newfangled word – a tiphak, which I hope will help you to avoid an accident situation. Very often beginners, and not only drivers do not even know about it. It was taught me by my older cousin, when I was re-learning how to drive around town after driving school :)

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When approaching a car that is blinding you for some reason, shift your gaze to the edge of the curb just under the right-hand corner of your car’s hood. As a result you will not lose control over the road for this short time and will avoid direct contact with the headlights of the oncoming car. And your peripheral vision is not so sensitive to light and will not be dazzled.

P.S. I should note that all the voiced, purely my personal opinions and judgments, which are likely to disagree with yours. It’s quite possible that I have not discovered anything new for you and only wasted my time, but if it becomes useful at least to one of users – then it’s time well spent!

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