While New York enjoys warm summers, rainfall is heavy at other points of the year. This rainfall poses unique safety risks to those traveling by vehicle. Rain can decrease traction, increase stopping distances and it can also decrease visibility.
Poor visibility resulting from rain is countered somewhat by windshield wipers. However, they only do their job when they are in good condition. Faulty windshield wipers can actually be counterproductive, placing drivers in greater danger. So, how do you know that your windshield wipers are working as they should? And if they aren’t, what can you do about it?
What do windshield wipers do?
Modern windshield wipers typically work with an electric motor. They are tasked with clearing the windshield of excess water, which they do by sweeping in a sideways motion. A smooth rubber blade picks up the water and removes it, leaving a clear windshield behind. Wipers tend to have various settings, ranging from intermittent to rapid, depending on how heavy the rainfall is. If the rubber blades become cracked or dry, it can pose a host of problems for road users.
Wipers must be clean
Occasionally, dust, dirt and grime can get caught up in wiper blades, and this must be cleared. Drivers can usually do this by using a paper towel or soft cloth. Wiper blades can usually be lifted so that they are vertical-facing, giving you clear access to remove any material that shouldn’t be there.
Top up your wiper fluid
All fluid levels in your vehicle should remain topped up, including wiper fluid. During periods without rain, you may not be using your wipers, and they could potentially dry out. By using your wiper fluid at least once a week, you can avoid this risk.
When to replace wiper blades
Generally, wiper blades should be replaced twice a year. Nonetheless, if you notice damage, cracks or smears as you use them, it could be in your best interest to replace the blades. Wiper blades are accessible in most auto stores, but make sure you are purchasing items that are suited to your vehicle.
Visibility is key to driver safety and maintaining your wiper blades is part of this process. If you have been involved in a road traffic collision, there could be a number of ways to seek compensation in the state of New York.