Night driving is made harder by:
People with dirty and poorly aimed headlights.
Houses with exterior floodlights aimed to light up the air.
Buildings with bulkhead type lights that just throw the light everwhere.
Cyclists who deliberately seem to aim their intensive lights at the eyes
Drivers who don't dip their headlights when you can see them coming towards
you. (That goes without saying, which I presume is why you didn't mention
Drivers who leave their rear (red) foglights on even when it isn't foggy.
Drivers who keep their brake lights on when they are stopped for many
minutes in a queue of traffic, dazzling and "destroying" the night vision of
the drivers behind. (*)
Drivers who don't use full beam when it is safe/considerate to do so (ie
when there's nothing in front of them) which makes it more difficult to see
where the road ahead of them goes when you want to overtake them. I tend to
put my beam on as soon as I'm level with the car, so at least *I* can see
where the road goes beyond the distance that their dipped headlights lights
(*) I was once stuck in a long queue of traffic that had been diverted
because the main road had been closed due to an accident. The diversion has
a staggered crossroads where all four roads are busy so it needs traffic
lights - but because it is staggered, the lights only let traffic in one
direction (as opposed to two facing directions) go at once, so queues
quickly built up. There were long period where the traffic was stationary,
and then occasions when everyone shuffled forward about 100 yards. The guy
in front of me kept his foot on his footbrake all the time he was
stationary, so all I could see was three big red blobs from his brake
lights. I put my sun visor down and closed my eyes. The light was so bright
even through my eyelids that I could see when they went out and knew that it
was safe to move forwards a bit. Even so, it was difficult to see the road
ahead for the first few seconds because my night vision had been "destroyed"
by the bright light and took a while to recover. I'm not sure whether he had
an automatic and was too lazy to put it into neutral and apply the handbrake
whenever he was stopped - after all, it was easy to work out that each time
we stopped it would be for at least a minute. I suffered in silence because
I didn't want to cause conflict, but eventually the guy behind me (who could
see the brake lights through my windscreen) leapt out and yelled "For F's
sake take your foot off the brake when you've stopped", and I heard a few
cheers from other drivers behind me ;-) The offender decided to play silly
buggers so he then took to doing an emergency stop whenever he got close to
the car in front - luckily I wasn't too close when he first did it, and I
was wise to his little game after that. I resisted the temptation (and it
was hard to resist!) to put my headlights on full beam so *he* would be
dazzled like he was doing to me.
And pedestrian crossings with low refresh rate LED displays at eye level (for the pedestrians) - move your eyes across and you get a line of red dots hanging in the air.
And several disorders such as hypothyroidism.
And winter. It is usually much easier on summaer nights.
In 2002 I recall being blinded by a (then new) Mercedes that pulled
out in front of me in a long traffic queue one wet night. It had the
brightest rear brake light (at the bottom of the rear screen) I've
ever seen. It was atrocious and really made me see red in more ways
than one. I'm guessing a less phlegmatic person than I would have
jumped out and thumped the driver (and I'll bet not a few drives did!)
I can't recall the model now after all these years but I'm sure the
manufacturers would have had to recall them to dim them down.
Martin James Smith wrote in
Cars with normal bulbs replaced with LED are the worse as the LED light
source is not quite where the filament was. Therefore there is some
Dirty lenses also scatter the light.
You might have incipient cataracts. The lens in your eye becomes cloudy and causes scatter.
My neighbour just had his eyes done, (plastic lenses) reckons it cured his similar problem.
But these LED headlights ARE a pain.
In article ,
That entirely depends on the type of headlight. Projector types - with a
bulls eye in front of the bulb - are very tolerant of bulb type.
Tungsten, HID or LED all give a similar and well controlled beam pattern.
You'll see that demonstrated on U Tube if you're interested.
Theoretically red light should leave *night vision* unaffected as the
rods are only sensitive by and affected by blue-green light (which is
why red lights are used in submarine cabins - to retain vision for the
periscope at night). I suspect that there is too much light during
normal driving to need the rods: and your blue sensitive cones should be OK.
Mercs had horrible HID lights as well. Mate had one, he was following
me down the A68 (roamn road, so straight but hilly and bumpy) he was
a mile or more behind but everytime he crested a hill or hit a bump
it looked like he was flashing his headlights. Observation of other
cars exhibting similar "flashing" showed they were all Mercs.
Not aroud here. The set on Langwathby Bridge(*) don't dim at night.
The green is so bright that you can't see where the entrance to the
girder section is until you are past them and it's not straight on...
(*) Oldest temporary bridge in the UK having been put in place in
1968 after the 300 year old sandstone arch bridge was washed away in
floods a few months earlier.
My car has an "auto hold" feature, where it keeps brake pressure applied
once you take your foot off the brake, my previous card had it too.
The old car turned the brake lights off while held, so I made a point of
taking my foot off the brake pedal, and do the same with the new car,
but I've realised that the new one keeps the brake lights on until I
touch the accelerator to move off again :-(
Thinking about it, I have noticed a considerable reduction in the number of 500W halogen exterior floodlights and far fewer seriously mis-aimed headlamps in the past few years. Probably varies across the UK.
Also, in general, fewer obvious lighting faults in cars.
What is worse, in my experience, is the amount of sports lighting visible, sometimes, from miles away.
People who do not wear reflective items when crossing roads in odd places,
motorised scooters, and of course the new street lights which apparently
though giving more light do not actually show contrasts very well according
to some people I meet.