For the second time since I started driving I had to replace a windshield wiper while away from home, before I could drive anywhere.
After work and getting off the train tonight and getting back to my truck, I started to clear the windshield of a sleet accumulation. I was a bit careless and managed to hit the driver's side wiper blade with my scraper, and bent it, breaking a plastic piece. Thankfully, I had a set of spare blades in the box that I keep in the back of my Xterra. What could have been a major PITA was just a minor inconvenience.
The first time I had to change a wiper blade while away from home was about 20 years ago, during a commute to law school. I was driving during a snow and ice storm, and the driver's side wiper ripped. I had spares with me so I pulled over and changed it.
When I change my wiper blades as part of ordinary maintenance, typically what I'll do is rotate out the ones I kept as spares, then put the new blades in my truck box. That way the spares don't get too old and possibly dry rot.