Torrential rain sees demand for windscreen wiper blades soar

With the torrential rain and blanket wet weather besetting the UK in recent weeks, the inclement conditions have seen the demand for new wipers blades soar.

According to Halfords, demand for wiper blades is up 50 per cent over this time last year, and with more bad weather set for the coming weeks, the need for fresh wipers will continue.

You might think you’d get away with a pair of well-used blades to clear the water off your windscreen, but you’d be wrong.

Old or damaged wipers go hard over time, meaning the ‘squeegee’ effect of new blades – completely clearing the glass area of water – is replaced by a smeary film. This is because the hardened rubber bounces across your screen rather than wiping water away.

This inability to clear your windscreen of moisture quickly and efficiently could be jeopardising your road safety, too. In a downpour, tired wiper blades just can’t cope and can leave you with impaired vision through the windscreen, resulting in slower reaction times to an event unfolding in front of you.

Bear in mind that braking distances double in the wet – conditions where you will almost certainly be using your wipers: any reduced reaction time is thus compounded by a decrease in performance from your cars tyres and braking system as a result.

Faulty wipers could also land you in trouble with the police. If deemed unfit for use on the road, the authorities could punish you with a maximum £1,000 fine.

For only a small outlay to keep you safe on the road and keep you out of trouble with the law, saving money by hanging on to your spent wiper blades surely doesn’t seem such an important way to claw back a few pounds on the cost of a year’s motoring, does it…