One of the most important requirements for safe driving is having a clear view of the road ahead in all types of weather and driving conditions. We all understand the importance of a clean windscreen yet often neglect checking that our windscreen and wiper blades are in optimal working condition.
Wiper blades have a life expectancy of approximately 12 months. Normal use, harsh sunlight and dust can cause the rubber on the blade to dry out and crack. These defects will cause streaks of water on the windscreen, and will reduce your visibility in wet weather.
From a safety point of view, check the condition of windscreen wiper blades and replace them even if they’re cleaning the glass and leaving little streaks.
Wiper blades must be in good condition and need to be inspected regularly, only the edge of the wiper blade should make contact with the windscreen and not the entire rubber body of the wiper blade. Wipers should not be used to clear mud and soil from the windscreen – this could scratch the glass.
Small cracks or chips in a windscreen are very sensitive to heat fluctuations and can rapidly increase in size if they are subjected to changes of temperature. A cracked or chipped windscreen needs to be repaired, however if the chip can be covered by a ten cent piece it will probably be able to be fixed, any larger and the windscreen will most likely have to be replaced.
Remember that the area directly in the driver’s view (about the size of a rugby ball) needs to be clear of cracks or chips otherwise the car could be deemed unroadworthy by the traffic police.
A bit more attention to your windscreen and wipers will enhance all our safety on the road significantly. Safe travels!