Burlington, Ontario – Crashes in wet weather may be partially due to the nearly 78 per cent of motorists who only change their wiper blades after visibility is impaired, according to a report by Rain-X. Nearly one-quarter of all auto crashes occur in rainy or wet weather.

“Ninety per cent of driving decisions are based on clear vision,” said Rachel Agnew, brand manager of car care for Shell Lubricants Canada. “Annually changing your wiper blades, as well as performing quick safety checks, can increase safety during inclement weather, especially during the winter months. It is that yearly reminder to change your blades that is vital to maintaining roadway visibility, and there is no better reminder than Groundhog Day, when people are already thinking of the weather.”

Clear visibility while driving can improve reaction times by up to a full second in poor weather conditions, the company said. When travelling at 60 m.p.h. (96 km/h), a full second can equate to 100 feet (30 metres), which may be the difference in avoiding a potential collision.

In addition to changing wiper blades, Rain-X also suggests that drivers do the following:

– Regularly walk around your vehicle, checking its lights, antifreeze, windshield washer fluid and wiper blades.

– Ensure that your tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread.

– Keep your gas tank at least half full in cold temperatures, which can reduce condensation that can plug the fuel line with ice.

– Carry an emergency pack, including a blanket, first-aid kit, snacks, bottled water, an ice scraper, flashlight and bag of kitty litter to aid traction.

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