See and Be Seen
With it’s during the dark days of winter or the rainstorms of summer, it’s important to make sure your vehicle can be seen by others and that your visibility is not compromised. To stay safe on the road, take a few minutes to inspect your vehicle’s headlights and wiper blades.
Lights and wipers play a major role in safe driving, as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen. The wiper system keeps excessive water, snow and dirt from building up on the windshield, maintaining clear visibility, while the lighting system provides nighttime visibility, signals and alerts other drivers (as well as supplying light for viewing instruments and the vehicle’s interior).
Lights are normal wear items that require periodic inspection and replacement. In addition to replacing dimming, rapidly blinking and non-functioning lights, the following tips can help keep you safe:
- Keep headlights, taillights and signal lights clean. External dirt and debris can dim operational lights from being seen by others.
- Make sure that your headlights are properly aimed. Miss-aimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.
- Don’t overdrive your headlights; you should be able to stop inside the illuminated area, otherwise you are creating a blind crash area in front of your vehicle.
- If there is any doubt on whether or not your headlights should be on, turn them on. Lights not only help you see better in early twilight, they also make it easier for other drivers to see you.
When it comes to the wiper blades, many factors can accelerate their replacement interval, including operating conditions (winter conditions are tough on wiper blades), frequency of use, material and type of wipers and sunny weather. In fact, wiper blades can deteriorate faster and need more frequent replacement in desert states.
Don’t forget that many states have laws that require the headlights to be on with the wipers. If you detect any problem with your car’s lights or wipers, have them checked out at once by your local dealer’s service department.
By keeping your vehicle’s lights and wiper blades properly cared for, you’ll help ensure a safer ride for you and all who share the road.