3 April 2024

The College and RAC welcome Government decision to commission independent study into headlight glare

RAC research shows as many as eight in 10 drivers are affected.

The College and RAC welcome a commitment from the Government to commission an independent study into the issue of headlight glare, after RAC research showed an overwhelming majority of drivers affected – as many as eight in 10 – believe the problem is getting worse.

Responding to a petition set up by a member of the public following campaigning on the issue by the RAC, the College of Optometrists, Baroness Hayter and others, the Government said: “Recognising the need for further evidence [regarding headlight glare], we intend to commission independent research shortly.”

The increasing concerns around headlight glare has been a topic that the College has worked on with partners such as Baroness Hayter and the RAC, and brought to the attention of the Government over the last few years. We support further investigation into what is causing the glare experienced by drivers and how we can mitigate against it.

Professor Leon Davies FCOptom

President of The College of Optometrists

"We are delighted the Government has agreed to investigate headlight glare. We look forward to supporting the creation of the independent survey and working with the Government and all relevant bodies to enable a safer driving experience for all."

Rod Dennis

RAC's Senior PR & Public Affairs Officer

“The fact the Government has listened to drivers’ concerns and heeded our calls to examine the complex issue of headlight glare in more detail marks a real turning point.

“Brighter headlights, while giving drivers a better view of the road ahead, are clearly causing other road users significant problems. As many as nine-in-10 drivers tell us they believe at least some car headlights are too bright, while 14% of drivers aged 65+ say they have stopped driving altogether as a result of being dazzled.

“We look forward to working with the Department of Transport to help ensure the study is as robust as possible and drivers’ voices are heard.”

The Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

“This is a victory for all those drivers affected by glare who’ve complained to their MP, signed the parliamentary petition, or indeed sought help from an optometrist – only to discover the problem was with headlights, and not their eyes. This is an issue the RAC has long campaigned on and I am delighted the Government has recognised there is a real problem. We look forward to discussing its research in due course.”

Find out more about headlight glare

We're in the media!

Our Clinical Adviser, Denise Voon MCOptom, appeared on BBC World at One today. She joined presenter Sarah Montague to discuss how our eyes can be affected by headlight glare. This follows the announcement that the Government will be commissioning an independent study into the issue of headlight glare. 

Related further reading

Should you do a sight test to fill in a vocational form?

A report on a survey carried out by the College and funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) indicates that optometrists have an important role to play in educating and informing older patients about their fitness to drive.