Vision and Driving Safety

Source: Car Care Council

Being safe means more than having good tires, a spare and a flare in the trunk. Highway safety begins with a driver who can see and be seen. Your vision/visibility check list should include:

  • WIPERS - Wiper blades should be checked periodically. If they're worn or brittle, replace them as soon as possible. Depending upon your climate, the rubber "squeegee" part of your blades may be effective for only six months.
    • Clean them periodically with glass cleaner or windshield wiper solvent to remove accumulated oily road film.
    • If the wiper arm springs are weak or broken, replace the arm. This ensures the pressure will be evenly distributed along the length of the blade.
    • Be sure the windshield washers are working properly, too, and that you keep the reservoir filled with solvent.
  • SIGNALS - Get in the habit of checking your turn signals, brake lights and emergency flashers. They are essential for communication. When they're not working properly, other drivers can't get your message and the results can be disastrous.
  • HEADLIGHTS - When the sun goes down, your chance of being involved in a fatal accident may increase by as much as 300 percent. That's a good reason to check your headlights periodically. Make sure they work on both high and low beam and are properly aimed. It's also a good idea to keep your headlights on while driving in the daylight. They help define your car's position on the road and its distance from other drivers.
  • REAR WINDOW - If you have luggage, camping gear or other travel items loaded in the rear window, you may be an accident waiting to happen. Although side mirrors help, they are a poor substitute for a clear view out the back window. Likewise, an unobstructed view when backing up is essential.
  • WINDSHIELD - The combined effect of chipped or cracked glass, bugs and road film obscure vision. Repair a damaged windshield as soon as possible and clean it regularly with windshield wiper solvent and a clean paper towel or cloth.
  • SUNGLASSES - There are times when the sun visors above your windshield will not be enough to shield your eyes from glare, so have a good pair of sunglasses handy. Beware of substandard eye wear. It can distort your vision and fail to provide necessary ultraviolet protection. Be certain you can see and be seen, reminds the Council.