Title: An examination of naturalistic windshield wiper usage

Authors: James R. Sayer, Jacob M. Wetzel, Dillon Funkhouser

Addresses: Transportation Research Institute, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2150, USA. ' Transportation Research Institute, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2150, USA. ' Transportation Research Institute, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2150, USA

Abstract: In the course of a field operational test, 96 participants drove instrumented vehicles from which driving data was recorded. Windshield wiper activity was examined in order to provide data regarding the naturalistic use of wiper systems. The results have implications for the design and durability of windshield wipers, wiper motors, windshields, and glazing treatments. Overall, wipers were used 8.6% of the time. When ambient lighting diminished, a shift towards higher wiper speeds was observed. Average headway time and range increased, and speed decreased, when wipers were engaged. Finally, middle-aged drivers used wipers more often than their younger and older counterparts.

Keywords: age differences; driving; headway time; lighting; precipitation; rain; visibility; windshield wipers; windscreen wipers; driver ages; wiper motors; windshields; glazing treatments; windscreens.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHVS.2009.027136

International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems, 2009 Vol.16 No.3, pp.328 - 340

Published online: 15 Jul 2009 *

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