Up to six and a half million drivers in the UK may be taking to wheel with faulty windscreen wipers. That’s according to new research…
Windscreen Wiper Worries
A survey of 2,000 motorists, conducted by Halfords, discovered that 17% of them were driving with faulty windscreen wipers. If generally the case amongst all drivers, it’d mean 6.5 million of us have sub-par wipers fitted. Most concerning was the fact that 20% of the respondents were unaware that wipers would ever need changing. In fact, poor wipers are a common reason for MOT failure. In addition, they pose a significant danger when driving in poor weather conditions. As they wear, their ability to clear the windscreen of rain and debris weakens; sometimes making the situation worse. Losing your vision whilst hurtling down the M1 is, as you might expect, an unpleasant situation to be in.
Faye Doolittle, a wet weather expert at Halfords (their title, not ours), said windscreen wipers should be replaced as soon as they start to smear. She said, “as soon as a wiper begins to smear rather than clear your windscreen, it is past its best and should be changed. Modern flat wiper blades don’t screech on the windscreen, so drivers listening for this audible warning are likely to miss the signs that their blades aren’t cutting it anymore”. It’s also worth bearing in mind that police can issue hefty fines for poor windscreen wipers. They can issue on the spot fines of £100, but the maximum is a whopping £5,000 in extreme cases. Despite these risks, only 15% of drivers responding to the survey said they were concerned by faulty or old wipers.
Preparing For Poor Weather
As we begin to approach winter, it’s more important than ever to check that our windscreen wipers are up to the task. Rain, snow and darker nights can all wreak havoc on our visibility. So there’s no better time to start making regular checks and getting a new pair of wipers. Doolittle explained the risks saying, “our research shows that there are likely to be many motorists out there struggling to see as their wiper blades fail to cope with the elements. Poor visibility doesn’t just make driving in the rain unpleasant and more tiring but failing to see a hazard quickly slows your reaction time. This can add several car lengths to your stopping distance and make the difference between avoiding a collision and not”.
So remember, your wipers won’t last indefinitely. Check them regularly and get some new ones as soon as they begin to smear, rather than clear, your windscreen. Your driving will be much more comfortable, and safer, as a result.
Why Windscreens Crack And How To Stop It – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/why-windscreens-crack-and-how-to-stop-it/
Ten Simple Ways To Save Money On Your Next MOT: https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-tips-advice/ten-ways-save-money-mot/