Blinding Lights

Have you noticed lately that every single time you're driving at night, you can't see behind you? No it's not from fog or heavy rain or even someone moving your mirrors out of alignment. I'm talking about cars with headlights so bright they nearly burn your retinas out of your skull. Finally, something is about to be done with that.

Peter Holderith writing for The Drive explains that a provision buried in the recently-passed infrastructure bill is a provision to address the scourge of blinding headlights

The text that enables this change is relatively straightforward. Under section 24212 of the bill, which is appropriately titled "HEADLAMPS," it's stated that "Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue a final rule amending Standard 108"—that's the transportation regulation pertaining to headlight design. The bill states that this section of the code should be amended "to allow for the use on vehicles of adaptive driving beam headlamp systems." In a nutshell, once H.R.3684 gets passed, the transportation secretary has two years to make adaptive headlights a thing in the United States. It could happen sooner, but that's the maximum timeline. 

The Drive

The idea of adaptive headlights are not new, but apparently this has been illegal until last month. The infrastructure bill's signature into law has reversed this. The headlights on a car with this technology can change their state based on the conditions. Someone in front of you? The headlights can dim. Same with being on an empty road and someone comes along in the opposite directions. One thing that exacerbates these blinding headlights are SUVs vs sedans. The height of trucks basically blast their beams directly into the mirrors of lower cars.

As the text says, it'll be most two-years before we see any movement on this, but hopefully some sort of retrofit can come to the market too. Personally, I enjoy being able to see at night when I drive.