How to Avoid the Glare from Oncoming Headlights

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If you’re the kind of driver who can’t take glare that well, you’d want to avoid the glare from oncoming headlights because being temporarily blind on the road could potentially lead to a road accident.

You’re not the only one who has this problem. This is because the human eye doesn’t readjust to normal lighting easily, which can make it difficult for you to look out on the road once intense light hits your eyes–and even shortly after that. Glare can also be difficult to handle for the elderly and people with eye conditions.

car with high beams on which can cause glare at night
Glare can cause temporary blindness when you’re driving at night.

Glare is a normal response of the eye to bright lights but it can be caused by a number of factors, including driving habits and the cleanliness of parts like the windshield. In this article, we’ll tell you how you can minimize the risk of getting involved in a car accident by managing or reducing headlight glare at night.

Tips for Avoiding or Reducing Headlight Glare When Driving At Night

Fortunately, there are things you can do before heading out to reduce glare. There are also some driving habits you can develop to try to minimize the effects of glare on your eyes. Check out these tips.

1. Don’t look directly at the lights producing glare. When faced with an oncoming high beam, look down toward the right side of the road to avoid the glare. However, do not completely take your eyes off the road. By slightly lowering your line of sight, you should still be able to see the lines on the road and stay in your lane until the car causing the glare passes.

2. Consider wearing protective eyewear. There are various glasses, lenses, and vehicle visors with anti-reflective material that can help reduce glare when you’re driving. These types of protective eyewear are sometimes called “night vision glasses” or “night time driving glasses.” Consider investing in a pair after talking to your doctor about the best option for you.

3. Make sure all the glass parts of your vehicle are cleaned thoroughly. These include the windows, mirrors, and the inside and outside parts of the windshield. This will remove any form of dirt or build-up on the glass that causes light to get refracted and makes glare worse.

4. Remove the dirt and burnt rubber build-up from the wiper blades. The best way to do this is to use a paper towel and windshield washer fluid. If cleaning them doesn’t work, consider getting replacement wiper blades.

5. Get your headlights aligned. Your own headlights can be distracting when either one or both are not aimed in the right direction. If you start to find yourself being blinded everytime you turn on your headlights, then a misaligned headlight might be to blame.

close up shot of a passenger side headlight
Misaligned headlights can also be another cause of glare.

6. Ensure that your car mirrors are in the right position. To set them in a way that minimizes glare, follow this neat trick suggested by the American Automobile Association (AAA): Bring your body to the left and place your head against the window. Move the side mirror located at the driver side just enough so you can view your ride’s left rear corner. Bring your body toward the right and tweak the position of the side mirror until you see the right rear corner of your car.

7. Make sure you don’t have any vision problems. Eyesight issues can make glare worse than it really is. Get your eyes looked at by an ophthalmologist to clear yourself from any issue.

8. Use the night setting of your rear view mirror. This will reduce the amount of light coming from it so it wouldn’t be as harsh to your vision.

9. Rest, if you must. Long drives especially at night can strain your eyes making them more susceptible to glare. So if your eyes start feeling fatigued, take breaks as often as you can.

10. Be proactive in taking care not to cause glare. Take the initiative not to cause others the same discomfort. Clean your headlights to prevent the dirt stuck on the encasing from dispersing the light and blinding the driver of the oncoming vehicle. You can use a specialized polishing compound to keep your headlights clear and sharp.

man cleaning passenger side headlight using cloth and spray
Keep your headlights clean to prevent dirt from dispersing the light.

These tips to avoid getting blinded by oncoming headlights may appear tedious and even burdensome to do but they are recommended if you have a particularly hard time recovering your normal vision after getting exposed to glare. Don’t just squint your way to survival. Make the proper adjustments, so you can drive more safely and comfortably at night.

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Staff Writers

In the Garage with CarParts.com is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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