— A California man has started a petition asking that government and safety regulators step in and do something about LED and HID (high-intensity discharge) headlights blinding oncoming drivers.
In addition, the petition seeks to require changes to other vehicle lighting, including daytime running lights as well as turn signal and brake lights.
While traffic fatalities increase due to factors such as distracted driving caused by the use of wireless devices, the petitioner says the distraction caused by blinding lights has been overlooked.
The subject is one that has caused an increase in complaints about lighting, not only from vehicle owners, but also from drivers who have faced the lights.
Toyota Corolla owners have complained about their lights blinding drivers, so the petition would certainly have a few Corolla fans.
"First, the daytime running lamps on vehicles with the xenon or led lights appears to be the same lights that run at night when you turn on the switch. This means that people in oncoming lanes constantly flash their lights thinking the bright lights are on during the day because it is extremely bright. People have also complained to me that it looks like the bright lights are on when they're not and the headlights are "blindingly bright", but how the lights are aimed or designed, they don't cast much light on the road ahead. There is a huge issue with these new Corolla models' lighting systems and Toyota needs to retrofit them immediately to prevent accidents." - 2015 Toyota Corolla owner
Another Corolla owner says the LED daytime running lights are so bright they could light the way at night.
"Car by design has led headlights which are also the daytime running lights. The daytime running lights are so bright that the operator could drive in the dark failing to notice that the real headlight are not on." - 2015 Toyota Corolla owner
And another Corolla was involved in an incident that caused a complaint, but the complaint didn't come from the Toyota owner.
"I was blinded by the headlights of a Toyota Corolla. It almost led to an accident with a pedestrian. Please look into all 2015+ Toyota Corollas with the high intensity discharge lights seem to be aimed higher than normal or have improper lenses. When approaching they blind oncoming drivers."
The petition seeks to have blue-colored headlight technologies banned from vehicles and for regulators to take notice from the American Medical Association (AMA). According to the petition, the AMA found that blue lights suppress melatonin at five times the rate of other lights. Additionally, the blue lights allegedly can cause pain and damage to the eyes.
Then there are the popular LED daytime running lights along with some LED tail lights, brake lights and turn signals that allegedly cause inattentional blindness. The petitioner says the condition can keep people from focusing on pedestrians and other important objects because of trying to cope with the distracting glare from the LED lights.
The petition also says the brightness of all daytime running lamps, tail lights, brake lights and turn signals should be limited to the same brightness as traffic lights. In addition, any technology that involves blue lights should be created under the watchful eyes of independent ophthalmologists.
The petitioner says he will deliver the completed petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation.