Good visibility is indispensable when driving, so decent quality, well-maintained windshield wiper blades are a must for you and your family’s safety.

While a vehicle’s motor, tires, bodywork and other parts often receive a lot of attention, wiper blades can often be forgotten with disastrous consequences. Responsible motoring depends on maximum visibility and rain, snow, insects and dust all work to decrease the quality of our vision. Worn windshield wiper blades simply do not work well enough for safe motoring.

The majority of windshield wiper blades are made from rubber and so are susceptible to wear and tear. Sunlight, freezing conditions, dirt, time, oil and many other forces contribute to their deterioration. Even if they are not used often, wiper blades must be replaced regularly.

Wiper blades must be replaced every six months or every 6,000 miles. Failure to do so is placing you at a significant risk. The cheapest option is to simply change the squeegees – the rubber sections that actually clean your windshield. These should only set you back a few dollars, although you may have to cut the squeegee to fit your particular type of wiper blade.

Otherwise you could replace the entire wiper blade. This is the complete windshield wiper that includes the metal frame as well as the squeegee. These are a little more expensive but should be replaced at least every two years. The metal arm must have good tension to ensure the rubber makes good contact with your windshield.

Although they are a relatively small vehicle part, it is important to fit quality windshield wiper blades. Different sizes, slopes and shapes of windshields can all influence the type of wiper blades you need and some types need more tension than others. What is more, the frame should have a few ‘claws’ which make sure the rubber makes firm contact with the windscreen.

The squeegees are mostly made out of rubber. More costly squeegees will use softer rubber against the glass, with stronger rubber at the back for increased support and durability. Again, in the interest safe motoring, it is worth investing a bit more on high quality.

Considering it is recommended that windshield wiper blades are changed every six months, this will probably coincide with your vehicle’s service schedule. However, if you like to service your own vehicle or wish to save a few dollars, windshield wiper replacement is a fairly simple task.

To check the condition of your windshield wiper blades just pull the blade back from the windshield and look closely at the rubber edge. It should be perfectly straight, without any distortions or brittle areas.

Jim Samposzi is a national correspondent with more than a dozen years writing experience. Jim is engaged as a reporter with many well-known b2b portals and has become the resident specialist on windscreen wipers. Visit our useful website for more information on Windshield Wipers and Wiper Blade.