The Causes and Dangers of Foggy Headlights

The Causes and Dangers of Foggy Headlights

Max Treverton

When it comes to car cleaning, how often do you consider your headlights?

Many drivers don't realise that dirty, foggy headlights can seriously compromise car safety. Here, we take a look at why foggy headlights occur and why they're dangerous.

What are foggy headlights? 

Take a look at your headlights. Are they crystal clear, allowing you to see the bulb inside? Or are they covered in a thin fog – like a film or haze? If you answered yes to the latter, you have foggy headlights on your hands. It could be time to consider headlight cleaning.

What causes foggy headlights? 

Several factors cause foggy headlights. Firstly, oxidation might have occurred. In most modern cars, headlights are made of polycarbonate. Over time, exposure to UV radiation causes cracks, which create a cloudy appearance. 

That said, UV is far from the only element that can do damage to polycarbonate headlights. Other culprits include rocks, stones and debris. When you drive on damaged or unsealed roads, these can flick up into the headlights, creating teeny-tiny dents. Their accumulation often results in foggy headlights.

Another factor you might not have considered is water vapour, which becomes a problem during periods of high humidity or heavy rainfall. If the air contains high levels of moisture, it can enter your headlights and stay there. Enough of it and the moisture can diffuse light, reducing visibility.

However, the most common cause of foggy headlights is far less complicated. It simply involves plain, old dirt. Whether you drive in the city or country, your headlights can gather dirt, dust and grime, which create a cloudy film. 

What are the dangers of foggy headlights?

The biggest danger of foggy headlights is reduced visibility. If a pedestrian, animal or vehicle crosses your path, you are less likely to see it clearly. This can pose a serious threat to both your car's safety and that of others. 

The good news is that, in most cases, foggy headlights can be solved easily. All you need to do is a little headlight cleaning. To find out about our headlight restoration wipes, please click here to get some!

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