D is for Dazzle

Dazzle occurs when oncoming headlights are not dipped, or on low beam, and you have a hard time seeing because of the brightness of the lights. The rules are to “dip your beams in good time” so you don’t dazzle oncoming drivers. If you are dazzled, you may have to slow down, but don’t brake too hard, as there might be a vehicle behind you. There is also such a thing as an “Anti-dazzle position” on your interior mirror. Here’s the official line from the Handbook:

When your headlights are on full beam,


  • dip early enough to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers, but not too early
  • Check the left-hand verge before you dip.


If you are dazzled by oncoming vehicles, slow down and , if necessary, stop. Don’t look directly at oncoming headlights. Don’t retaliate by leaving your lights on full beam and dazzling the oncoming driver. (p.271)



About Gail

Genealogist, librarian, traveler, runner, grandma, Mormon, Missionary
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge, Mission, Travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to D is for Dazzle

  1. I’ve had that happen one too many times, usually I flick on my brights to let the other driver know to dim theirs.

    • Gail says:

      Yea that would be a no-no. The Code says you slow down and stop/pull over if you can’t see. But no dazzling back!

      • Mars says:

        Yes for test that is essential, however what Melanie says is what often happens driver to driver, and if I am the accidental dazzler, it’s actually a really useful reminder – sometimes you do forget…

        Although once both my dip headlight bulbs failed at the same time, so I had no choice but to drive on full beam until I got home… otherwise dipping my headlights would have turned all the lights off on the car… very scary journey that was!! In 30 years of driving it’s only ever happened once, but once was enough!

        Mars xx
        @TrollbeadBlog from
        Curling Stones for Lego People

  2. Gail says:

    You bring up an interesting point: it’s what we call Low Beam and High Beams. You say “dipped” headlights, but there is also a device on these UK cars (haven’t seen it in US) that adjusts the angle of the beam so that it “dips” lower and doesn’t extend out so far ahead of the car. Is “dipped” the same word used for “low” beam and adjusting the angle downward?

    • Mars says:

      Ah I’m using dip as the slang for low beam, modern cars have that switch that can also adjust the angle of your headlights, older ones don’t. So it was my “low beam” headlights that both failed! So if I switched to low beam, I had NO lights at all!

      The flash to warn or signal other drivers is very tricky as it’s used commonly, but can be mistaken in what the other driver’s intent is… in the UK we often warn other drivers coming in the opposite direction about police speed traps with a flash, also a no-no!

      Mars xx
      @TrollbeadBlog from
      Curling Stones for Lego People

  3. So interesting.
    @Montanahens (twitter, instagram pinterest)

  4. A J says:

    The cars here (as far as I know) only have a high beam and the regular angle beam (?) And high beam is generally used when you’re travelling on backroads with no streetlights but if there’s oncoming traffic you’d switch the high beam back to regular beam. I get dazzled too many times when I drive too. It sucks 😦

  5. Gail says:

    Makes night driving not very much fun.

  6. Deb Hawkins says:

    Is the Anti-dazzle when someone has their high beams on behind you? That happens to me often. 😡

  7. Dahlia says:

    You touched a chord there! I hate driving at night because of all the dazzle and apparently there is no cure 😉

  8. Gail says:

    We thought about just not driving at night, but that would severely limit our effectiveness as missionaries! Especially during the winter when it gets dark at 3:00 in the afternoon!

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