BRITIAN is well known for its rainy days, causing trouble for motorists if their windscreen wipers aren’t up to scratch which can result in HUGE fines.
If your wipers don’t work properly or aren’t in a good condition, you could get in trouble if you are pulled over by the police. Here’s everything you need to know:
Can I be fined if my windscreen wipers do not work properly?
Driving with faulty wiper blades isn’t just dangerous, it’s also illegal.
Wipers that don’t clear the screen properly can severely affect drivers’ visibility and will fail an MOT test.
Leaving your with broken wipers could see you hit with a £50 fixed penalty notice for driving a vehicle with a part in a defective condition.
Police could also see this as careless driving, which carries a £100 on-the-spot fine but can lead to a maximum fine of £5,000 if the case is taken to court.
How often should I replace my windscreen wipers?
A study by Halfords, published in 2019, revealed 6.5million cars are being driven with broken wiper blades and 20% of Brits don’t know when their wiper blades need to be changed.
The study also showed 16% of motorists wait for their garage to replace them, meaning drivers could be on the road for months before changing them.
You should replace your windscreen wipers as soon as you notice they are damaged or not working correctly.
But, you should consider changing them every 6 to 12 months, depending on how much you use them.
Faye Doolittle, wet weather expert at Halfords, said: “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.
“As soon as a wiper begins to smear rather than clear your windscreen it is past its best and should be changed.
“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.”
How will I know if my windscreen wipers aren’t working?
If you notice any of the following, you should replace your windscreen wipers, or risk getting a minimum £50 fixed penalty:
Streaking: Visual inspection of the wiper blade reveals rubber has hardened/cracked due to exposure over time. The sun’s ultraviolet rays, tree sap or even road tar/road grit can cause damage. Bands of water will remain after each wipe and streaking will become more prominent.
Smearing: The wiper edge is no longer sharp, but rounded due to wear, causing water smear across the screen resulting in cloudy and impaired visibility.
Squeaking: The old/ worn rubber of the blade does not move quietly across the windscreen.
Chattering: Blades that skip, vibrate, across the windscreen, due to hot and cold temperatures over time or extended period of non-use.
How much do windscreen wipers cost?
Fortunately, new windscreen wipers are one of the cheaper things to replace on your car.
You can buy your replacement wiper blades for anywhere from £3 to £12 for a single or from £14 for a front pair.
Windscreen wipers can be replaced by a mechanic, or during your MOT.
You can also buy them from most motoring garages or stores, and replace them yourself.