Glare from tailing motorists 'potentially unsafe'

Friday, 22 February 2008 12:00 AM

Glare from tailing motorists 'potentially unsafe'

Glare from tailing motorists 'potentially unsafe'

The majority of motorists are troubled by the dazzling glare in their rear view mirrors caused by the headlamps of following cars.

And some of the strategies employed to deal with the phenomenon are potentially unsafe, according to research from TUV Rheinland - an organisation which supports research and development in the automotive industry.

After questioning 3,000 motorists the organisation found, unsurprisingly, top avoidance strategy, adopted by two-thirds of motorists, was simply to adjust the position of their interior mirror.

Another technique employed by a small number of motorists was to wear sunglasses.

Curiously, twice as many British drivers (9.2 per cent) were likely to use this method compared with drivers from France (5.4 per cent) or Germany (5.1 per cent).

Other common practices include squinting (44 per cent of motorists) or blocking the glare with their hand (21.3 per cent).

A small number (1.8 per cent) would block the glare with whatever they were holding at the time.

However, some of these methods are regarded as dangerous by TUV.

Instead, the company recommends a technical solution - automatic dimming mirrors - which react to excessive light and shield drivers' eyes.

"The vast majority (71 per cent) of European drivers participating in this market research, who didn't have this feature in their car, were totally unaware of it," said Klaus Weibler, managing director of European operations for Gentex - the organisation behind TUV.

"And more than one in four (28 per cent) of motorists even with this equipment already fitted did not know they had it.

"However, once motorists are aware of the feature they express very positive attitudes saying it makes for much safer night-time driving and less fatigue.


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