MILLIONS of motorists are driving with faulty windscreen wipers, which could see them hit with a £5,000 bill or even risk an accident.
You can be charged with careless driving if police assess that the wipers made you dangerous on the roads.
Surprisingly, 20% of Brits don't know when their wiper blades need to be changed.
The study also revealed around 16% of motorists wait for their garage to tell them a wiper blade should be replaced, despite the fact it might not be picked for several months.
As parts of the country have been issued with weather warnings for rain and snow, motorists are urged to check their windscreen wipers are working before getting behind the wheel.
You can buy your replacement wiper blades for anywhere from £3 to £12 for a single or from £14 for a front pair.
Drivers are encouraged to change their wipers at least every 12 months, but this will depend on how often you use your them and the weather conditions you regularly drive in.
In some instances, they may need to changed after six months.
You'll know it's time to change your wipers when they start to smear the water on your windscreen.
Another tell-tale sign is when the rubber blades starts to pull off the metal arm of the wipers.
Poor visibility out of your windscreen can greatly reduce your reaction time and cause you to miss important warnings while driving.
Police can charge you with driving without due care and attention if you're driving with poor visibility, which carries a £100 on-the-spot fine and up to three penalty points on your licence.
But if challenged in court, you can face a £5,000 fine, nine penalty points and even a driving ban.
Faye Doolittle, wet weather expert at Halfords, said: "Strong wind and torrential rain could cause trouble for those with dodgy wiper blades.
"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.
"This can add several car lengths to your stopping distance and make the difference between avoiding a collision and not.
"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."
The DVSA has warned that motorists risk fines of up to £1,000 for driving with their windscreen covered in frost.
But drivers should avoid a dangerous trick to defrost windscreens quickly.
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