Keeping your windscreen spotlessly clean could cut one second off your braking response in an emergency – enough to prevent a smash from occurring.
The finding was made by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute testing a special type of glass treatment developed by specialist cleansing products maker Rain-X that helps to stop dirt and water sticking to windscreens.
It may appear obvious that a dirty windscreen can prevent the driver from seeing an emergency situation quickly enough to respond, but this is the first time the theory has been tested and quantified.
It’s called the 1-second advantage.
In the so-called “Visual Acuity” tests, the Institute calculated that the driver of a car with a smeared windscreen traveling at 100km/h would react one second later than the driver looking through Rain-X treated, clean glass. The difference travelled during the lost reaction time was 27metres.
For a car traveling at 50km/h, the vehicle with the impaired windscreen visibility traveled a further 13.5metres.
The Institute says that with a clear windscreen, the average braking response time time was 0.5 seconds, against 1.5 seconds for the driver trying to peer through a dirty windscreen. Actual response times could vary according to the time of day, condition of the vehicle and the road and weather conditions.
The tests validated the effectiveness of the hydrophobic glass treatment developed by Rain-X, which is now available through service stations and leading automotive accessory outlets in New Zealand.
According to its distributor, Griffiths Equipment, Rain-X Original windscreen glass treatment is the leader in its market in the US.
To work effectively it has to be applied to a clean windscreen, which can be done with a cloth. The hydrophobic molecules contained within the solution bond to the glass surface, forming an invisible shield that causes water to bead and roll off – providing much improved visibility in wet weather conditions (it’s possible to see through the windscreen in the rain without using the wipers).
Similarly, dirt cannot get a grip on the screen and falls away. Sleet and snow is dealt with in the same way. It acts just like wax and polish on the paintwork, except that it is specially formulated for glass, whereas waxes and polishes leave streaks and smears on windows.
The makers say Rain-X Original prevents wipers from creating streaks on the glass and provides a clean and smear-free view of the road ahead.
For best results it should be applied once a week, after every car wash, and the cloth should also be used to wipe the blade of the wipers to help smooth their action across the screen.
Rain-X can be used on all exterior glass surfaces around the vehicle, including the mirrors. There’s also a Rain-X Washer Fluid additive for washer bottles that helps to apply a little of the repellent treatment each time it is used – but does not fully replace the need to regularly treat the windscreen.
RainX Anti Fog Tips
The all-new RAIN-X ANTI-FOG for interior glass is another breakthrough in surface treatment technology by the inventors of Rain-X – “The invisible Windshield Wiper” – for exterior glass. It is unlike any other anti-fog, anti-steam or anti-mist product previously available. These Tech Tips, in question and answer format, will outline the many properties, applications and benefits of this unique material:
WHY ARE WINDOWS & MIRRORS PRONE TO FOGGING & STEAMING?
Fogging, steaming or misting results from a disparity between temperature and humidity two sides of a transparent surface such as windshields and windows… or between two opaque surfaces such as mirrors. When excess moisture accumulates on an otherwise “waterproof” surface, ti “condenses” into tiny droplets that interfere with visibility until the water drops become so large as to roll off the surface by their own weight and the force of gravity. Just as “the weather” is frequently unpredictable, so are the conditions that promote fogging or steaming. It takes jus a small difference in temperature and/or humidity to promote or retard condensation; that is, fogging or steaming.
WHAT IS RAIN-X ANTI FOG?
It is a 100% solvent-solubilized surface active micropolymer that absorbs surface moisture – on contact – to let you see clearly through glass and plastic transparencies and in mirrors throughout the home and in your auto.
HOW DOES RAIN-X ANTI-FOG WORK?
It imparts an extremely durable micro-thin layer of highly-adherent, moisture-absorbing polymer particles on the surface that resists soiling and condensation, and is effective across a broad temperature spectrum. It actually keeps moisture from “condensing” on the surface: it allows moisture to “film” and evaporate uniformly.
HOW DOES RAIN-X ANTI-FOG “CLEAN & CONDITION” GLASS & PLASTIC TRANSPARENCIES?
It “cleans” the surface of oils, waxes, grease and smoke that frequently trap moisture and “conditions” the surface against the condensation and soiling that interfere with visibility.
IS RAIN-X ANTI-FOG A PERMANENT COATING?
Absolutely not! It is not even a “coating” in the sense that it does not chemically bond to the surface like Rain-X – “The invisible Windshield Wiper” for the exterior surfaces of glass and plastic transparencies. By design, Rain-X ANTI-FOG is an adherent, but removable, moisture absorbent.
HOW LONG WILL RAIN-X ANTI-FOG LAST?
A single treatment will last from days to weeks to months depending entirely upon the frequency and level of exposure to fogging and steaming – and upon the amount of ambient ventilation.
WHEN SHOULD RAIN-X ANTI-FOG BE APPLIED?
At the first sign of fogging or steaming. Since it is impossible to predict the occurrence of fogging or steaming, and, until “fog-free” glass or plastics are invented, it makes no sense to treat windows or mirrors in advance of an indeterminable need…. with the expectation that such treatment will perform with any degree of reliability and excellence.
HOW SHOULD RAIN-X ANTI-FOG BE APPLIED?
With very little effort and in no time at all… whenever fogging or steaming is encountered. Just pour a few drops on a soft cloth or tissue, and wipe lightly across the surface to be treated. It dries in seconds… to let you see clearly!
WHEN SHOULD RAIN-X ANTI-FOG BE RE-APPLIED?
Whenever the previous treatment is no longer effective; when the surface-active molecules have exhausted their capacity to hold and dissipate moisture in a uniform manner. That’s why RAIN-X ANTI-FOG was made so quick and easy to use – in all kinds of weather, throughout the year, under any circumstances, using nothing more than a soft cloth or tissue.
WHAT ABOUT SMEARING OR BUILD-UP?
With RAIN-X ANTI-FOG, that’s not problem… even though it’s highly concentrated. If it’s “over-applied” and some smear or hazing occurs, just sprinkle the surface with water and wipe with a soft cloth or tissue until crystal clear. The anti-fog properties will remain, and you’ll notice how the windows and mirrors will stay cleaner, longer.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RAIN-X ANTI-FOG AND ALL THOSE OTHER ANTI-FOG LIQUIDS, CLOTHS AND STICKS?
There is no comparison… the difference is dramatic! RAIN-X ANTI-FOG is a highly concentrated material; it contains no water, oils or waxes. It requires no special surface cleaning or preparation. It goes on easy, dries quickly and performs instantly! Because of its unique formulation. It can even be applied to a surface that’s already moisture-laden. And, what’s more, there is no rubbing or buffing; just wipe it on and you’re on the way!
DOES RAIN-X ANTI-FOG HAVE OTHER USES?
Yes indeed! When diluted with ordinary tap water, amazing cleaning properties really come forth. When 1 part ANTI-FOG is diluted with 15 to 20 parts water in a spray bottle, it is one of the best glass and hard surface spray cleaners available anywhere. RAIN-X ANTI-FOG will leave no oil, wax or unwanted grease on the surface.
WHAT ABOUT THE ORIGINAL RAIN-X (“The Invisible Windshield Wiper”) FOR THE EXTERIOR SURFACES; CAN RAIN-X ANTI-FOG BE USED WITH THAT PRODUCT?
These two products are for totally different purposes and involve completely different chemistry… even though both products improve visibility, safety and motoring comfort. The original Rain-X is for application to the exterior surface of glass and plastic transparencies, while the new RAIN-X ANTI-FOG conditions their interior surfaces against fogging and steaming. These two unique materials comprise the RAIN-X GLASS TREATMENT SYSTEM.
RainX Tech Tips
RAIN-X represents a major breakthrough in surface coating technology, and is unlike any other surface treatment product previously available. These TECH TIPS, in question and answer format, will provide an outline of the many properties, applications and benefits of this unique product that affords motorists an unprecedented opportunity for improved visibility and safety during periods of inclement weather.
WHAT IS RAIN-X?
Rain-X is an ultra-thin, absolutely invisible, non-stick coating that is easily and quickly applied to windshields, side & rear windows, side view mirrors and sealed beam headlights – just like polish – to make them remarkably water, soil and stain repellent.
HOW DOES RAIN-X WORK?
This unique, advanced-formula transparent polymer coating fills the microscopic pores of glass with inert, hydrophobic molecules that are chemically and physically bonded to the surface like and “invisible shield” to disperse rain, sleet & snow – mud, bugs, salt & grime – on contact!
WHAT DOES RAIN-X DO?
Rain-X literally “keeps water from filming and dirt from sticking. It makes rain, sleet and snow “bead” and roll off, almost like mercury. It prevents adhesion and build-up of bugs, mud, salt, dust and road grime for improved visibility, safety and driving comfort.
HOW LONG DOES RAIN-X LAST?
Rain-X is unaffected by soaps, solvents or car-wash detergents, and is immune to temperature, time and sunlight throughout the spectrum from ultra-violet to infra-red. Only abrasion like the constant rubbing of grit and grime trapped by windshield wipers) will diminish its performance and durability. Depending upon the environment, climate, amount of driving and frequency of mechanical wiper use…. a typical application of Rain-X on the windshield will last from one week to several months – on side and rear windows, from several months on up,
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN RAIN-X WEARS OFF?
Nothing! Rain-X just dissipates – it gradually disappears – and the surface returns to the way it was before being treated. Because on its unique polymeric structure, Rain-X cannot crack, peel or discolour.
HOW OFTEN CAN RAIN-X BE APPLIED?
As often as necessary to maintain peak performance. It can be applied over and over because it never “builds-up”. Rain-X bonds to the surface, but not to itself. Thus, it is never necessary to remove “the old coating” A fresh application simply fills in the voids and rejuvenates the previous treatment… glass will “take” what is needed and leave the rest as “excess” to be wiped off.
IS RAIN-X ONLY FOR RAIN?
NO. It works equally well when driving in freezing rain, sleet or snow. Also, it reduces the adhesion and build-up of frost and ice overnight, makes morning scraping a snap! The anti-stick properties are great against bugs, mud salt and road grime; saving time and energy.
WITH RAIN-X, UNDER WHAT CRICUMSTANCES CAN I DRIVE WITHOUT USING WIPERS?
When properly and regularly applied to maintain peak performance, Rain-X extends and expands your field of vision both with and without the use of mechanical wipers using hydraulic and aerodynamic principles. In fact the harder it rains, the better it works. At lower driving speeds and during moderate rainfall or drizzle conditions, wiper assistance may be beneficial, at higher speeds and during heavier rainfall. Rain-X provides outstanding clearance and visibility – even without wipers.
IS RAIN-X ONLY FOR THE WINDSHIELD?
NO! Good visibility is important all the way around. Side and rear visibility can make all the difference in defensive driving and accident avoidance. Rain-X on side and rear windows, sealed beam headlights and side view mirrors is absolutely essential!
WILL RAIN-X PREVENT WIPER SMEARING, STREAKING, CHATTERING OR HAZING?
No. Mechanical wipers, although simple in appearance, are actually very complex devices, requiring absolute synchronization and design balance between the angle/curvature of the glass, location of the wiper motor mounts, spring tension/pressure of the wiper arm, and the length, quality and condition of the blades themselves. Any one of these elements, when “out of sync” or in need of replacement/adjustment, can interfere with optimum wiper operation and results in smearing, streaking, chattering or hazing. Rain-X by increasing the surface tension and repellent properties of the windshield may alleviate or offset some of these conditions when applied regularly.
DOES RAIN-X HARM WIPER BLADES OR WINDOW SEALANTS/MOLDINGS?
Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, wiping the blades with a Rain-X moistened cloth will actually clean the blades and remove old, oxidized rubber.
WILL RAIN-X PREVENT “FOGGING’ OR “STEAMING” ON THE INSIDE OF GLASS?
No. Interior fogging (condensation) is caused by a disparity in temperature and humidity. A true “anti-fog” should absorb moisture…. Rain-X repels moisture. That’s why we developed RAIN-X ANTI-FOG, a special technology for the inside of surfaces of windshields, side & rear windows, and steaming and fogging INSTANTLY!
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO APPLY OR RE-APPLY RAIN-X?
BEFORE YOU NEED IT!
When it’s dry and above freezing; when it’s comfortable to do a good job – after each car wash is a good idea because Rain-X even removes the spray-wax residue from glass. It should be used as the finishing touch to be prepared for the weather ahead. Then, whenever rain, sleet or snow no longer disperse on contact, it is a signal that it’s time to re-apply. Windshields should be re-treated at least once a month, side and rear windows every two to three months. This schedule will generally provide optimum benefits throughout the year.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO APPLY RAIN-X?
Rain-X is specifically designed for easy application using ordinary wiping and polishing techniques whether using the standard dispenser bottle or the new spray bottle and special high-tech applicator:
A. Wash and thoroughly dry the glass (ordinary water will do perfectly).
B. Dispenser Application: Apply a small amount of Rain-X to a soft, dry, folded cloth and carefully wipe the Rain-X onto the glass surface using a firm, circular and overlapping motion. Spray Application: Spray a small amount of Rain-X directly onto the surface to be treated and “massage” Rain-X into the surface using the new Rain-X applicator.
C. Allow the solvent to evaporate (indicated by the formation of a slight haze).
D. After the slight “haze” has formed, repeat application to ensure complete and uniform coverage. (The Rain-X bonding process is automatic and self- levelling – it cannot be over-applied)
E. When the “haze” has re-formed, sprinkle the surface with water and wipe the surface with a dry cloth or paper towel until clear and sparkling.
F. Remember to clean your wiper blades with Rain-X repellent to ensure smooth, streak free operation.