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Q: Windshield Night Glare ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Windshield Night Glare
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: emjs181-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 01 Oct 2005 09:00 PDT
Expires: 31 Oct 2005 08:00 PST
Question ID: 575005
I need to know why the windshield in my car glares so bad at night,
and how to MAKE IT STOP!  I drive a 95 Dodge Avenger.  I have tried a
dozen different types of windshield cleaners.  But even when it's
spic-n-span clean, it glares so bad at night that I hesitate to drive!
 Every light leaves this long glare.  I know it's not my eyes, because
I don't have this problem in other cars.  And when I look out my side
window, there is no glare.  Why is this happening, and how do I fix
Subject: Re: Windshield Night Glare
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 01 Oct 2005 12:35 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hello Emjs181,

   You are not alone in this problem, although the curve of your
windshield may make this problem more noticeable in your car, and not

From AAA:
?If bright lights have been bothering you more lately when you drive
at night, you?re not alone. The comment above, like hundreds of other
complaints received recently by the government and AAA clubs across
the country, indicates that glare from headlights has flared into a
bigger problem than ever.

But you don?t need to continue to suffer. With the right strategies,
the right driving techniques, and the right equipment, you can fight
back at nighttime glare.

New Lights, Old Problems
Drivers have been complaining about glare ever since electric
headlights began replacing oil lamps on automobiles more than 85 years
ago. So what?s the big deal now? Why does glare seem to have grown
worse? The answer involves technology, automotive design, and

Extra lights.
Many vehicles now sport fog lamps or other auxiliary lights in front.
Ideally, fog lamps cast a low, broad beam to reduce ?back-scatter?
from the vehicle?s headlights when water droplets hang in the air. 
They?re intended to improve a driver?s ability to see in foggy, misty,
or hazy conditions. However, when they?re aimed improperly or used on
clear nights, they can annoy other drivers.?
?Lighter-colored eyes are more sensitive, which means the lighter your
eyes are the more glare will bother you.?

The film on the inside of my car windshield really builds up. I?m
amazed at how much clearer I can see after cleaning the inside
windows. (And I don?t smoke ? if you smoke this could contribute to
the problem). Film on the inside of the windshield can catch and
disperse light, causing a great deal of glare.

?Keep all glass clear?really clear.
Streaks, smudges, and road grime on your windows catch and refract
light. This includes the inside of your windshield.  Chemicals from
the plastic in your car?s interior slowly build up on the glass, until
pretty soon you?re looking at the windshield, not through it.
Scratched eyeglasses or contact lenses also make glare worse.

For maximum glare prevention, keep every surface between your eyes and
the road as clear as possible?including both sides of your windshield
and your eyeglasses. Clean the windows (inside and out!) at least once
a month to get rid of haze?more often if you smoke in the car.
While you?re at it, clean your wiper blades with a paper towel dipped
in windshield washer fluid. This removes grime and oxidized rubber
from the edge of the blade and helps prevent streaking. If streaks
persist, you need new blade refills.  (These are available at any auto
parts store or discount chain.)


When oncoming vehicles shine light directly into your eyes, look down
and to the right. Turn your gaze to the white line on the right side
of the road, or to where pavement meets the shoulder, until the
vehicle goes by.
Many eye care professionals strongly recommend glasses with an anti-reflective
(AR) coating. This ultra-thin film, made from zircon and silicon,
reduces internal reflections in the lenses. Unlike sunglasses or
self-darkening lenses, which block some light, AR-coated glasses
actually transmit more light?about 8 percent more. This improves
vision at night and helps distinguish fine details during the day.

Be sure to be checked for the formation of cataracts.

?If you wear prescription glasses, clear lenses with an
anti-reflection coating are best for night driving. Any lens reflects
a certain amount of light off its front and back surfaces. Therefore,
if you wear glasses when driving, an antireflection coating will
reduce reflections on your lenses.
Also, do not underestimate the benefit of simply cleaning the
windshield of your car. Road dirt will scatter light and reduce vision
significantly. If your windshield has many scratches, consider
replacing it. Cleaning your glasses before driving is also helpful. Be
aware that vision tends to deteriorate with age. While it is
inconvenient to give up driving at night, if you cannot see well
enough to drive safely it is better to let someone else drive than to
cause an accident. An eye doctor can give an objective evaluation of
your vision.?

?Do not drive beyond what is illuminated on the road before you. Don't
try to guess what the road conditions are like in the darkness ahead.
Don't stare at oncoming headlights. Look to the side of the road,
instead. If you feel that your eyes are affected by glare, slow down
so you're not driving blindly.

Don't stare into side mirrors at the headlamps of cars that are passing you. 
Keep your windshield and headlamps clean, taking care to clean both
the inside and outside of the windshield regularly. Dirty, pitted and
fogged windshields can increase glare, and dirt on headlamps can
reduce light output by up to 75 percent.

Keep windshield and front side windows free of dark tinting. 
Be sure your headlights are properly aimed and adjusted to give you optimum view. 
Adjust your rear-view mirror to the "night" position to minimize glare
from vehicles behind you.

Turn down the illumination of your gauges to a safe, but not jarringly
high, level. Don't drive with the interior lights on or other lights
inside the vehicle on. Take off sunglasses at dusk.

Use your high beams when possible without becoming a hazard for other drivers. 
Don't drive when you're tired. Fatigue affects how clearly a driver sees.?

?No one can see as well at night as in the daytime. But as we get
older these differences increase. A 50-year old driver may require at
least twice as much light to see the same thing at night as a
20-year-old needs.
What you do in the daytime can also affect your night vision. For
example, if you spend the day in bright sunshine you are wise to wear
sunglasses. Your eyes will have less trouble adjusting to night.

Sunglasses should not be worn at night when you are driving. They may
cut down on glare from headlights, but they also make a lot of things
invisible that should remain visible - such as parked cars, obstacles,
pedestrians, or even trains that are blocking railway crossings. You
may want to put on your sunglasses after you have pulled into
brightly-lighted service or refreshment area. Eyes shielded from that
glare may adjust more quickly to darkness back on the road. But be
sure to remove your sunglasses before you leave the service area.?

?Keep your windshield and all the glass on your vehicle clean - inside
and out. Glare at night is made much worse by dirt on the glass. Even
the inside of the glass can build up a film caused by dust. Tobacco
smoke also makes inside glass surfaces very filmy and can be a vision
hazard if it's left there.
Dirty glass makes lights dazzle and flash more than clean glass would,
making the pupils of your eyes contract repeatedly. You might even
want to keep a cloth and some glass cleaner in your vehicle if you
need to clean your glass frequently.
Remember that your headlights light up far less of a roadway when you
are in a turn or curve.

Keep your eyes moving; that way, it's easier to pick out dimly lit objects. 
Just as your headlights should be checked regularly for proper aim, so
should your eyes be examined regularly. Some drivers suffer from night
blindness - the inability to see in dim light - and aren't even aware
of it.?

Dash Mats can help reduce glare too.

This is a product that clips to the sun visor, to reduce glare:

Have you tried this product?

?A University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study
found that a driver's visual acuity can improve as much as 34% after a
car windshield is coated with glass treatment. The study also found as
much as a 25% improvement in a driver's response time after windshield
treatment. At 40 mph, that represents 58 feet!?

Sun Guard

Sun Tamer

Hope this answer helps you drive easier! I will be happy to assist you
further on this question, before you rate it. Simply request an Answer
Clarification, if any part of this answer is unclear.

Regards, Crabcakes

Search Terms
Windshield glare 
Reducing car windshield glare
car windshield + reduce glare + products

Request for Answer Clarification by emjs181-ga on 01 Oct 2005 13:54 PDT
Your answer doesn't list anything that I haven't tried already.  I
need to know what I can do to my windshield to make it glare less.  I
only have this problem at night.  Is there any special cleaner for
this, or some kind of treatment I can have done?  This is not just
your average everyday glare that all normal people experience.
I don't know if the film that's causing the problem is on the inside
or the outside.  How do I tell?  If it's on the inside, and it's
caused by the vinyl dashboard, how i get it off?

Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 01 Oct 2005 14:23 PDT
Hello again,

   If your film is on the inside, cleaning with a window cleaner, or
ammonia and newspaper, as Sublime1-ga suggested will remove it.

   With all due respect, you did not tell us what you had already
tried, so I could not possibly have known what you used already.

You mentioned having tried cleaners, but did not mention trying the
anti-reflective film or visors.

The following was all mentioned in my answer, have you done/tried these ideas?

Are you wearing sunglasses at night? (Don't)

If you wear glasses, have you tried an anti-reflective coating on them?

Do you have a dash mat?

Have you tried turning down the light on your panel intrument gauges?

Have you been checked for cataracts or other vision problems. It's
possible the curve of YOUR car windshield is contributing to the

It seems very likely that your windshield is to blame, due to height
and curvature, if none of the produts listed have helped.

If you let  me know exactly which products you have tried, I will be
happy to search out other solutions, if there are any other.

Regards, Crabcakes

Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 01 Oct 2005 15:06 PDT
"While traditional glass cleaners such as Windex will work [to clean
the outside of the front windshield], many people recommend Bon Ami
cleanser to thoroughly clean the windshield. Products such as Meguires
Auto Polish can also be used to help remove imperfections in the
glass; apply, rub lightly in circular motions, let haze, wipe off.

[GM] Glass Plus, Griot's. Try diluting either 1:1 with water. Use
cotton towels instead of paper to reduce lint. I've tried Griot's lint
free towels, pretty mediocre IMO. Rain X Pre Cleaner 2000 for stains.
I don't like Zymol's window cleaner, it seems to have some sort of
Rain X type of chemical in it along with the cleaner.

If you can't see out, you can't see your car! Rain-X has two products
that work very well and compliment each other. The first is the
renowned Rain-X windshield protectant that everyone knows about. This
is the SECOND step.. the one that no one seems to realize is out there
is Rain-X Glass-Care 2000. Dorky name, fantastic product! It's the
cleaner for your glass that makes all the difference. Some people
report that they have a problem with distortion/coloration/film on
their cars when they use Rain-X. The problem isn't the product itslef,
but the product being applied over contaminated surfaces."

Ways of dealing with glare:

    * Look beyond the oncoming headlight beam (not directly into it).
    * Reduce the illumination of the dashboard lights (eliminates
glare into the eyes or onto the windshield).
    * After experiencing glare from an oncoming vehicle, gradually let
off the gas, look to the right slightly, resume normal driving after
the vehicle passes, and do not blind other drivers with your high
    * Clean the windshield inside and out (smokers especially). Make
sure the windshield washer reservoir is full and operational.
Windshield wipers should be clean and free of defects.
    * Clean the headlights. Dirty headlights will decrease visibility
by as much as 90%.

Night Glare is common in nearsighted individuals even before any
refractive procedure is performed but increases almost immediately in
the healing process and is more common when only one eye has been
treated. Typically, 6 months after both eyes have been treated, only
2% of patients still experience significant night glare which
seriously interferes with their night driving. Severe night glare can
reduce vision in all reduced lighting conditions producing blurriness,
ghosting or haloes. Patients with large pupils and severe myopia are
at greatest risk for night glare."

Another Cleaning product

"Lighten up. The average 60-year-old person needs seven times as much
light as a 20-year-old to see well in the dark, according to the
American Optometric Association. So brighten up the rooms of your home
with 60- or 100-watt neodymium lightbulbs, suggests Bruce Rosenthal,
O.D., chief of low-vision programs at Lighthouse International, a
vision rehabilitation organization in New York City. These bulbs
provide higher contrast and produce less glare than regular
lightbulbs, so you should be able to see better at night. Neodymium
bulbs are available at specialty lighting stores and from some
mail-order catalog companies."
" Get a pair of night glasses. Sometimes, poor night vision is merely
a sign of increasing nearsightedness, Dr. Sumers says. Ask your
optometrist or ophthalmologist if a new pair of glasses that is
specifically prescribed for nocturnal activities like driving will
help you see better after sundown.

Slash the glare. Ask your vision-care specialist about getting an
antireflective coating on your glasses, Dr. Rosenthal suggests. These
coatings cut down on glare, increase the amount of available light
coming into your eyes, and can improve your night vision. "

Please read page 2 of this article:*KP%20%20%0A

Maybe this additional information will help!
Regards, Crabcakes
emjs181-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Windshield Night Glare
From: sublime1-ga on 01 Oct 2005 11:59 PDT
It sounds like the cleaners you're using are leaving a film,
or one of them has left a film which the others are failing
to remove. Have you tried ammonia, water and newspaper? If
that doesn't work, try vinegar, water and newspaper.
Subject: Re: Windshield Night Glare
From: myoarin-ga on 02 Oct 2005 09:13 PDT
Your car is ten years old.  It could well be that there are very many
and very minor scratches in your windshield that no cleanser will
Maybe you have a real crack in it (and inch or so), and your insurance
will cover replaceent (my German insurance here covers that).  If not,
still consider whether this could be the problem.
Subject: Re: Windshield Night Glare
From: 17palms-ga on 18 Oct 2005 10:29 PDT
I have the exact same problem with my 1993 vehicle. I've owned it for
12 years and I don't remember having this issue until the last six
years. I really think it's the age of the windshield. Years of
accumulated micro-scratches and micro-pits are readily apparent. When
the sun shines directly in front of me I can hardly see out of the
window because all the imperfections and micro-scratches are lit up. 
When its raining, the windshield wipers leave large patches of very
thinly smeared water, not just streaks. The problem is severely
compounded at night with the glare of oncoming traffic headlights. I
think the micro-scratches and micro-pits in the glass prevent the
water from being completely wiped away. Neither new wipers nor all the
glass cleaners I've tried seem to help. Maybe it's time for a
replacement windshield?

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