Why Wipe Wrong With Windshield Wipers?

Picture yourself in the drivers seat of a car, windshield wipers on. The left blade, just forward of your left shoulder wipes an arc of 90 degrees from laying down on the right to straight up. The right blade, mounted in the center of the windshield, wipes an arc of ~120 degrees from laying down on the right to ~45 degrees within the driver’s side wiper arc.

The right wiper sweeps all of its water into the driver’s line of sight. The effect the driver sees is rain, wipe clean, water splashed onto windshield, wipe clean, rain, wipe clean, water splashed onto windshield…

Turn the wipers on high and the splashing is compounded almost completely obscuring the driver’s vision between wipes of the driver’s side wiper.

Why not move the wipers so that the driver’s side wiper is the one that has a ~120 degree arc and water is never splashed into the driver’s line of sight?

The only drawback I can see is that a portion of the driver’s side, the upper left, will not be wiped clean. But how can reducing the area of the driver’s vision be worse than reducing the amount time the driver can see to almost nothing?

The upper left corner is left where the oncoming traffic is coming from. Do you really not want to be able to see the car coming the other way hydroplaning into you?

Oncoming traffic appears in the lower left corner. There shouldn’t be any oncoming traffic in the upper left corner other than low-flying aircraft. :slight_smile:

Regarding the OP, Mercedes has a single-arm wiper system that can be seen here:

So, do automobiles with right-hand drive and intended for such markets as Australia and the UK have wipers configured as the OP suggests?

I’d have to say that traffic would be more obscured by a dirty half-circle outline on the left. Pardon my hair splitting, but for most people oncoming traffic appears in neither the upper or lower corners of the windshield; it’s more like the center third (upper = 20 ft above the road surface, lower = your hood and the curb or lane boundaries 10 feet to your left). Then again you have the driver’s side window to see out of as well, so basically I really don’t have an answer… um… bye!

I guess it depends on how tall you are. My head scrapes the roof of pretty much anything I drive, so I tend to be looking down through the top half of the windshield.

That, height of the seat and the slope and size of the windshield. It wouldn’t work for every car yet with only a couple of exceptions the windshield wiper placement is always the same.

Why not like robby’s Mercedes? That system couldn’t cost that much more than a good stereo. And why does the driver have to sit so close to the side. An inch to the center with the opposite placement would work, right?

Yes, they are reversed so that the wiper reaches the top corner on the driver’s side. I just checked my right-hand drive Volvo to make sure.

The single-arm Mercedes wiper is a complex system - it extends to reach the corners then retracts to avoid hitting the top middle edge of the windshield. It looks like the system protrudes several inches into the engine compartment. I don’t think you can justify the cost, complexity and design constraints for normal cars.