Around 6.5 million UK cars may be on UK roads with faulty windscreen wipers. That’s the prediction of a recent 2,000-person poll, which found 17 percent have driven with sub-standard wipers fitted to their car.
Extrapolate that figure to the 38 million cars on the road and you have a shocking statistic.
Windscreen wiper woes
Indeed, around 20 percent of those surveyed said they didn’t know when their wiper blades needed to be changed.
Faulty wipers crop up as a common failure in MOT tests. They are also one of the easiest things you can rectify yourself. If the rubber is cracked, or the wiper doesn’t clear your windscreen effectively, you need new blades.
“As soon as a wiper begins to smear rather than clear your windscreen, it is past its best and should be changed,” said Faye Doolittle, wet weather expert at Halfords.
“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.”
Never mind saving on your MOT, it could also save you a hefty fine. Police can treat driving with poor wipers as careless driving, which carries a £100 on-the-spot fine. It can incur a maximum penalty of £5,000.
In total, 15 percent of respondents said their wipers caused them to worry about driving in the rain.
“Strong wind and torrential rain could cause trouble for those with dodgy wiper blades,” continued Doolittle.
“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.”