I recently bought a new car and was very surprised to find that it has no rear windscreen wiper. On further investigation, I discovered that in general, car manufacturers only include rear wipers on vehicles they consider hatchbacks, not sedans. The reason I've seen given is that hatchbacks cause a slight vacuum as they drive which attracts more dust to the rear of the car than for a sedan. My last car, a Mazda 323 Astina, looked like a sedan (it had a sloping rear window, not an almost vertical one) but was classified as a hatchback, so it had a rear wiper.

However, when I'm driving my new car and it rains, I lose rear visibility due to water drops on the back window. More water collects on the rear windscreen when stopped at the lights than when moving at high speed but it is a definite safety issue. Every time it rains my hand itches to turn on the non-existent rear windscreen wiper!

Why is rain not considered a problem for rear visibility in sedans?

  • There's not much you can do under most circumstances when danger is approaching from aft. The rear wipers are there mostly so that you can clean the window to see before backing up (and avoiding hitting that gray-ish car parked across the street from your driveway).
    – 3Dave
    Aug 18, 2017 at 1:50
  • 1
    @DavidLively I can tell if there is a vehicle immediately behind me. Is it safe to brake heavily for an amber light, etc. In Australia we are trained to check the interior mirror and the side mirrors frequently while driving. Each one gives a different view of the traffic behind you.
    – CJ Dennis
    Aug 18, 2017 at 1:53
  • Here in the US, we're trained to punch it when the light turns amber. shrug
    – 3Dave
    Aug 18, 2017 at 1:55
  • @DavidLively That's good unless you accidentally speed (camera trap on the traffic light) or misjudge the timing and go through the red (camera trap on the traffic light). In Australia, there is a legal requirement to stop on amber if safe to do so. Obviously, this is often completely ignored and many people do accelerate through the amber light.
    – CJ Dennis
    Aug 18, 2017 at 2:01
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    In Uk amber is for stop as well, not a "GLF" signal to avoid the red...
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 18, 2017 at 16:03


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