NEW YORK — It’s not your imagination, headlights are getting brighter. WNYW reports that vehicle manufactures are making headlights brighter so drivers can see better while driving at night, but those lights are causing problems for other drivers.
“Definitely headlights are getting brighter and brighter and it’s as the technology progresses. We have gone from the sealed beam headlamp to xenon high intensity discharge lamps, halogen lamps and now LEDs,” said Robert Sinclair Jr with AAA Northeast told WNYW.
It can be especially bad if you’re in a smaller vehicle and you’re driving toward larger vehicles. “[SUV’s] have higher ride height, that means the lights are going to be higher and they’re going to be in your eyes, particularly if you’re in ongoing traffic in a smaller, say economy vehicle,” Sinclair told WNYW.
Doctors also say that bright headlights can be distracting to other drivers and, as people get older, they have a slower recovery time for their vision to return to normal after being exposed to bright lights. Cataracts also increase with age, doctors tell WNYW, which can also make it harder to tolerate headlights.
“Cataracts basically is the yellowing of our natural lens. We’re all born with a clear lens, but when we grow older there’s a breakdown of natural proteins,” said Dr. Prachi Dua, a phthalmologist at Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital.
AAA says there are federal regulations in place to limit headlight brightness, but it can be difficult to enforce.