Driving at night is challenging. Bright headlights from surrounding cars make driving even harder.
One TikToker took to the app to vent her frustration with dealing with bright headlights while driving at night. Since Monday, the viral video has amassed over 1.3 million views. In it, user @spongebobpatricdoyoumind is sitting in her car at night, with visibly bright light streaming in from the back window.
@spongebobpatricdoyoumind no way are these legal #brightlights #ledheadlights #icannotsee #backup #imscared #funny #trend #share #andissnapchats #fypp #blacktiktok #lgbttiktok #loctok #fakebodyy⚠️ #fakecar⚠️ ♬ original sound – barnacle MAN
“This is what the f*ck I’m talking about,” she says as she holds up the camera to show the headlights behind her.
“There is no reason for you to be lighting up my motherf*cking car like this,” @spongebobpatricdoyoumind continues. “It’s night time. I got astigmatism. These glasses is thick. It’s dark!”
Even in the video, the driver’s headlights through the rear windshield cause a glare on the screen.
“Back up or turn them down!” @spongebobpatricdoyoumind yells.
“No way are these legal,” she wrote in the video’s description.
@spongebobpatricdoyoumind leaves work in the evenings when it is dark, meaning she frequently drives at night and on the interstate. She told the Daily Dot via TikTok direct message that she encounters bright lights on the road “3-5 times a week” and takes extra precautions because of her astigmatism.
“I always have to make sure my glasses and windshield are clear because lights appear as streaks,” she said.
Astigmatism is an eye condition in which an eye’s cornea or lens has an irregular curve. The condition causes blurred and distorted vision and poor night vision. Bright lights, such as headlights, can look streaky and disorientating, worsening the glare they may already give another driver.
Users in the comments sympathized with @spongebobpatricdoyoumind’s difficulty managing her astigmatism in the presence of bright headlights.
“This is so real,” one commenter wrote. “I avoid driving at night as much as possible because of my astigmatism”
“No the astigmatism struggle is so real. Those headlights make it so I literally cannot drive at night anymore. They should be ILLEGAL,” another wrote.
Others shared the TikToker’s frustration with bright headlights.
“I will NEVER understand that the noise of a vehicle is regulated but not how bright your lights can be,” one viewer wrote.
Some users recommended that @spongebobpatricdoyoumind adjust her mirrors to shine the lights back to the driver behind her to alert them to the brightness.
“I flip my rearview mirror up but I wish there was a way to reflect the light back to the driver so they can see how bad it is,” one user suggested.
“Flip the little thing on the mirror and it’ll glare back in their eyes they’ll turn it off,” another wrote, referring to the tab at the bottom of the rearview mirror that adjusts the mirror’s angle.
Blinding car headlights are a growing problem in the United States, with 50% of fatal car crashes happening at night, according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
NBC News reported in May that difficulties in visibility are in part because “vehicle headlights have shifted from primarily warm-yellowish halogen to cool-bluish LED, which human eyes are more sensitive to.”
Newer cars are also taller, meaning their lights more often align with the eye-level of drivers in smaller cars.
While other countries have long approved technology to mitigate nighttime headlight glare, the U.S. has only recently addressed this issue.
In 2021, a bill was passed requiring American regulators to approve technology that would lessen the impact of bright headlights.
In February 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a ruling that enabled automakers to install “adaptive driving beams” that use LED lights powered by software to adjust the light beam to brighten surroundings, rather than drivers.
As of May, however, vehicles with this feature are not commercially available in the U.S., according to NBC News. In the meantime, drivers such as @spongebobpatricdoyoumind may have to wait a little longer for this problem to be solved.
The Daily Dot reached out to @spongebobpatricdoyoumind via TikTok comment.