Did you know that 90 percent of all driving decisions are based solely on a person’s vision? That statistic should come as no surprise considering what we can see determines our actions and reactions when driving. It’s your car’s wiper blades which help to keep the windshield clear so you are able to see what’s in front of you. Unfortunately, it’s common for drivers to replace wiper blades several years after they’ve gone bad in their first six to twelve months.
Please Change Your Wiper Blades Annually for Safety Reasons
Wiper blades are a very important safety feature to any car. Yet, too many drivers do not take the time to change their wiper blades every six months to a year. In fact, a survey conducted of vehicles going through law enforcement check lanes during National Car Care Month revealed 1 out of every 5 cars were equipped with deficient wiper blades and/or washing systems.
It’s easy to forget that wipers are a safety feature–until you end up driving in heavy rain or snow, or are blinded by glare through dirty glass. An unclean or obscured windshield is a true hazard. Just as you typically don’t know the washer fluid tank is empty until it no longer squirts cleaner, drivers may not realize that the wipers are shot until there is an immediate visibility concern. By then, it can be too late, as many accidents are a result of poor visibility. —Consumer Reports.org
About 5.87 million auto accidents occur across the United States annually. Of those, about 23 percent are weather-related. What’s more, 74 percent happen on wet roads and 46 percent occur while it’s raining. According to the American Meteorological Society, there are 178 weather-related accidents every hour. Moreover, about 7,400 deaths occur each year and more than 673,000 injuries happen annually due to inclement weather conditions. For all these reasons and more, it’s important to keep your car maintained and to practice safe driving:
- Change your wiper blades. According to Consumer Reports and other sources, it’s best to replace your wiper blades every six to twelve months. Even if these are not used regularly, sun exposure, heat and cold, and more conditions all cause wiper blades to degrade.
- Replenish the wash fluid. In addition to replacing your car’s wiper blades, it’s equally important to replenish the wash fluid. This helps to keep the windshield clear of debris, allowing you to see better, especially at night, when light levels are low.
- Check your tires. Tire tread wears out on an average of three to four years, according to Edmunds.com. That’s for people who drive between 12,000 and 14,000 miles annually. You should not drive on balding tires especially in the rain and/or on wet roads.
- Check all your lights. Another important safety feature are your car’s lights. The headlights, tail lights, directional lights, and more all play vital roles. Not to mention it’s illegal to drive without working lights. Lights not only help you see as you drive, but makes your car visible to others.
- Try to avoid driving in poor weather. When possible, try to avoid driving during inclement weather conditions. Whether it’s raining, foggy, or other poor weather conditions exist, it’s just best to avoid being on the road, particularly if you don’t have to drive.
- Practice defensive driving. Always be on the lookout for distracted drivers, follow at a safe distance behind the car in front of yours, and do not engage in distracting behaviors while behind the wheel. Always use your turn signal and be alert for other drivers’ sudden turns and/or stops.
If you or a loved one is involved in an auto accident, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Please do not wait to consult a lawyer to discuss your case. You have legal rights and may be entitled to compensation for any injuries or other damages. There are time limits to file a claim for injuries and you are limited to take action under statutory law.