Windshield Wipers: Essential Safety Equipment for Visibility
Visibility when driving is critical for safety and decreasing your stress level when behind the wheel. There’s nothing worse than when a semi-trailer truck passes your vehicle and sends a stream of muddy rainwater or snowy slush onto your windshield with a sickening splat. There’s a panicky moment when you can’t see until the wipers clear the window. But what if your wiper blades are worn out and you have streaks or dead zones on the window, compounding your visibility problems? You could have an accident or at the very least feel like a wreck by the time you arrive at your destination.
You depend on your wipers to keep windshields clear, and yet many people forget to inspect or replace them until driving in a downpour or snowstorm. Then you find yourself white-knuckling the steering wheel because you’re struggling to see the road.
Windshield wiper maintenance is relatively easy. Wiper replacement can be done at the same time as you get other routine maintenance such as an oil change, or you can purchase them from an auto parts store or online, and install them yourself. If you’re looking to save a bit on your auto maintenance budget replace them yourself. Check your vehicle manual to assure you purchase the correct type and size for your car. Your best bet for durability when it comes to wiper blades are blades made from silicone rubber. They can last years instead of months. They cost about $25.00 per blade but are well worth the investment as they are significantly more durable.
Check Your Wiper Blades Twice a Year
- Look for ragged edges or nicks in the rubber blade edge.
- If your blades squeak, leave streaks, or completely miss areas of windshield (dead zones) it’s time to replace them.
Windshield Wiper Maintenance Tips to Extend Usage
- Get in the habit of cleaning your windshield and the rubber portion of the blades while you fill your gas tank.
- Gently wipe the rubber part of your blades with a soft wet towel or cloth. Periodically you can use rubbing alcohol. Alcohol wipes such as you might have in a first aid kit are a great choice for this purpose.
- Have your mechanic check your wiper fluid levels when getting an oil change or when seasons change. Using wiper blades on a dry window damages the rubber. If you have summer bug fluid, drain it before freezing weather starts, and replace with an antifreeze winter fluid.
- Repair chips and cracks in your windshield as these can add to wear and tear on your wiper blades too.
- Always use an ice scraper to thoroughly clean ice and snow from your windows before you drive.
- If you park your car outside, lift blades up when snow is predicted or if it is snowing, so they don’t freeze to the window.
- Park your car in the shade during hot summer months. Heat and sunshine cause the rubber in your wiper blades to deteriorate.
You can improve your visibility and reduce your risk of accidents simply by washing your windshield regularly, checking your wiper blades, and replacing them when needed.
At InsureOne we want you to enjoy driving and get there safely. We’re happy to give you an auto insurance quote or help you review your existing policy. Give us a call or visit our website, and we’ll assist you in finding the best rates on auto insurance.