Windshield Wiper Tips for Safe Winter Driving
No matter what time of year it is or what the weather is like, a clear windshield is essential for safe driving. When your visibility is reduced in any way, whether it’s from foggy conditions or rain hitting the windshield, the more likely it is that you’ll get into a car accident. For example, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration states that, as of February 2020, fog alone is responsible for 38,700 car accidents every year.
Windshield wipers won’t help drivers deal with every possible thing that can block their vision, but they do help drivers deal with a lot of them. And during the winter months, windshield wipers are a particularly valuable tool for safe driving when people have snow and melting ice to deal with, in addition to general dirt and other debris from the road. For maximum safety, it’s very important for drivers to properly care for their windshield wipers during winter.
Check & Replace Wipers Early in the Season
As fall starts to come to an end, there are lots of things people can do to get their cars ready for winter and one of those things should include checking the condition of your windshield wiper blades. When you take a look at your windshield wipers, do you see any signs of wear and tear like cracks, rust, or gaps between the blade and the windshield? Or on a rainy day, does it seem like your windshield wipers spread water around more than they clear it away? If so, it’s a good time to have those blades replaced.
Don’t Use Windshield Wipers as an Ice Scraper
If your car has been parked outside for a while, giving it time to get covered in ice and snow, it can be tempting to turn on the windshield wipers and let them do some of the work of clearing off your windshield. But it’s important to be careful when using your windshield wipers in this way. If wiper blades have frozen to the windshield, they could be damaged from being put into use too soon, which is why it’s good to turn your wipers off before turning your car off. The cold weather conditions can also make wiper blades more fragile and prone to damage when used on things like ice.
Should I Put Windshield Wipers Up in the Snow?
Since windshield wiper blades can be damaged if they get frozen to a windshield, many drivers like to try preventing that from happening in the first place. When you aren’t able to park in an enclosed space, like in a garage or parking structure, one thing you can do is raise your windshield wipers away from the surface of your windshield. However, many people think that doing this can damage your windshield wipers in other ways. Another option to prevent windshield wipers from freezing to the windshield is to leave the wipers down, but cover them with something like a sock.
De-Icing Solutions & Windshield Wiper Fluids
Applying a de-icing solution to your windshield can help make it easier to clear off your car, but be careful what you use for this purpose. Don’t pour boiling water on to your windshield. Instead, applying rubbing alcohol to your windshield wipers can help prevent them from getting stuck, but it will need to be reapplied over time. A spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water can also help make it easier to clear your windshield.
Another idea is to consider changing your windshield wiper fluid. Some windshield wiper fluids are designed for use in the winter and helps prevent windshields from icing.
Get Help After a Winter Car Accident
Unfortunately, even if you do everything you can to stay safe when driving during the winter, the negligence of other drivers can jeopardize your safety. If you’ve been injured in a crash, the best thing you can do is get in touch with a car accident lawyer. Goodwin & Scieszka has been working with the victims of Michigan car accidents for over 20 years and can help answer any questions you have about your case. Contact us today to get started.
Image: iStock / Михаил Руденко