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The rainy season brings a whole different set of road risks.

Poor visibility, slippery surfaces, storm debris and hard-to-spot puddles are just some of the challenges, and if you add a fogged-up windscreen to the mix, wet weather driving can get really tricky.

That’s why more and more people are choosing to install rain sensors on their windscreens because it means one less distraction whilst driving in wet weather.

The sensor automatically turns the windscreen wipers on as soon as it detects drops of rain, snow or sleet – leaving the driver free to concentrate on navigating the road.  What’s more, the sensor controls the speed of the wipers so when the rain stops and starts or wavers between a drizzle and downpour (which it often does), you don’t have to worry about constantly adjusting them.

A rain sensor may seem like a luxury, but it does provide important benefits like improved safety and greater convenience.

But how do these devices actually work?

Contrary to what many people believe, the sensor doesn’t measure the amount of water coming onto the glass, it detects light.  It works by sending out an infrared beam to the windscreen, and if the glass is dry, the beam is reflected back almost completely.  However, when drops of rain hit the windscreen, they act as prisms and scatter the light which means that the infrared beam is only partially reflected back.  When this happens, the vehicle’s onboard computer switches on the wipers which will then clear the screen.

The wipers will activate again if more rain falls and the light isn’t reflected completely.  The harder and more dense the rainfall, the less light is reflected and the faster the automatic wipers will work.  Remember, this all happens very quickly which means that the automatic operation is just as effective as doing it manually.  It can sometimes be even more effective if the driver is distracted by other things going on around them.  The driver can also focus on negotiating the vehicle through the wet weather without having to think about handling the wipers.

And as we all know, the fewer the distractions – the easier it is for drivers to concentrate.   Multitasking whilst driving can be dangerous, so removing the need for the driver to manually operate the wipers is a good thing when it comes to road safety.  That said, the driver always has the ability to override the system and can take control of the wipers at any time.

But what happens to the sensor if your windscreen is damaged or if it needs replacing?

It is possible to detach and reattach the sensor (provided that it hasn’t been damaged and that the wiring is still intact), but these electronic devices are sensitive and it is really important that the job is done by a specialist who understands how the sensor works.

There are various different models on the market and an experienced windscreen repair professional will know how to handle each one.  They will always test to ensure that the rain sensor is working properly before removing the glass or starting any repair work and will ensure that great care and the right steps are taken to ensure the device is fully operational when it is reconnected.

Rain sensor technology has proved to be a great asset in helping drivers get the better of wet weather conditions and Autoscreens has proved to be a great asset in helping drivers with quick, convenient and hassle-free windscreen replacement in Perth for over 25 years.

They keep abreast of all new technologies so that their customers always get the very best expertise when it comes to windscreen repairs and replacements in Perth.  For personalised mobile service 24/7 and skilled, professional workmanship that is fully guaranteed and recommended by all major insurers, contact Jason on 0400 200 086

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