Zeiss poll finds glare from headlights a key challenge for learner drivers

A poll of 374 driving instructors found 75% of learner drivers experience problems with glare from headlights, while 87% also felt their learner drivers needed an eye test

Zeiss drive safe
A poll by Zeiss, held in recognition of Road Safety Week, has found that glare from headlights poses a key challenge for learner drivers, as the company encourages new or learner drivers to ensure their eyes are “road ready.”

Launched in partnership with Intelligent Instructor, Zeiss polled 374 driving instructors on vision and driving, particularly exploring the eyesight of learner drivers.

The results of the poll found that 75% of learner drivers had problems with glare from headlights, while 71% of learner drivers experienced problems with heavy rain, and 91% struggled with dazzling sunlight. Glare from headlights was found to be the biggest distraction when driving.

Of those surveyed, 87% of driving instructors said they felt their learner drivers needed an eye test, with 90% of respondents going on to agree that “everyone should have an eye test before learning to drive.”

Reflecting on the poll results, Paul Hopkins, professional services manager and optometrist at Zeiss Vision Care UK, acknowledged that glare and dazzle caused by car headlights at night can be a key challenge. He said: “As we head into winter there is more likelihood of drivers facing these challenging conditions due to shorter days and worsening weather.”

“Disability glare from headlights is of particular concern as this can affect visual performance which can seriously impact driving performance,” Mr Hopkins continued.

“With this in mind, eye care practitioners must take care to ensure we are fully meeting this challenge. Regular eye tests and lenses that support the visual needs of drivers are key for ensuring people feel confident when driving in all conditions,” Mr Hopkins concluded.

Coinciding with Road Safety Week, Zeiss are encouraging drivers to consider their eyesight.

The company highlighted its Zeiss DriveSafe lenses, designed to meet the needs of drivers, including reduced perceived glare at night. Zeiss found in a research project with Aston University that 82% of wearers agreed they felt more confident driving in all weather conditions with the lenses.

With the nights growing darker, last month the AOP launched it’s ‘Don’t swerve a sight test’ campaign, highlighting the challenges of driving in the dark and encouraging drivers to have their regular sight tests. Campaign resources are available at