Rain forecast for Auckland and Northland at the end of the week can create dangerous driving conditions after the extended dry spell, and the NZ Transport Agency says people will need to take care on wet highways and roads.
“Because we’ve had so much sunshine, expect road surfaces to be slippery when it does rain,” says the NZTA’s Regional Director for Auckland and Northland, Stephen Town.
“All summer long, dust, dirt, oil and other debris builds up on the surface and when it rains, those ingredients combine and get stirred up to make driving conditions slippery and dangerous. Conditions are at the worst in the first few hours of rain, and light rain is more of a challenge than a heavy downpour.”
Mr Town says a good plan for people after weeks of driving in dry weather is to allow more time for travel.
“One of the most common causes of a wet weather crash is driving too fast. Reducing speed 10kph below the legal limit and keeping your distance will greatly reduce the risk of a crash – vehicles need 2-3 times more stopping distance on wet roads “
As Easter approaches, Mr Town says people should also prepare their vehicles for the unsettled weather ahead to have tyres, brakes, lights, windscreen wipers and wiper cleaning fluid checked.
‘We’re well into autumn and the checks will help ready people for the different driving conditions that follow the change of seasons,” Mr Town says.