LED headlights blinding drivers on road


    New LED lights are causing problems for drivers. (KOKH)

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KOKH) - If you find yourself driving around at night squinting or looking away from bright headlights, you're not alone.

    Experts at AAA said new LED headlights can be blinding and are making it harder for drivers to see.

    "Especially with vehicles sitting up higher than they used to these days, it's hitting us more in the eyes than it ever has before. It's become an issue with the lights. It's great for the person driving the car because they can see everything but not for the person the light is hitting," said Kevin Lynch, AAA car care manager.

    Lynch said LED lights produce a much higher lumen than halogen lights.

    "The intensity of the light is a lot more," said Lynch. "The LED lights produce more of a blue light so our eyes aren’t able to dilate when the vehicles are coming at us. It's almost like a blinding effect right away. You get that blue halo and see that white light for a while."

    Not only are the lights brighter, but Lynch said they also project more light out.

    "It's like coning. It's sending light out into a projection area," said Lynch. "It's sending light out so you can cover more of a wide area at a lower rate, which is great for the driver that's driving the vehicle, but once again, it's affecting drivers, the driver's that are coming at it."

    Bryan Womack, a doctor at Bright Eyes Family Care, said LED lights, especially, cause problems for older drivers, those with dry eyes, retinal issues or in the need of cataract surgery.

    Womack said treatment lenses could be a solution.

    "What it does, instead of the light hitting the surface and reflecting off, it actually gets absorbed," said Womack.

    He said regular glasses without the lens protection will show reflections and glares but treatment lenses absorb that light.

    "You can see small coloring so that's the only small wave link of light bouncing off. All others are being absorbed so you're decreasing that amount of reflection which, again, allowed more usable functional light to get to the eye," said Womack.

    Experts also recommend that drivers look away from the lights coming at them.

    "Quit looking at the light and stare at the lane next to you just for the five seconds it takes for a person to pass you so you don't get a halo effect," said Lynch.

    Womack said customers can buy treated blue light protection lenses at almost any eye doctor's office.



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