As winter weather sets in this Queens Birthday weekend, New Zealand motorists are being urged to drive to the conditions and plan their journeys well.
The NZ Transport Agency has reminded motorists to take care, plan ahead and pay extra attention when driving on the roads this winter.
“For road travellers, winter can be a dangerous time of year. Motor vehicle crashes involving wet weather, fog, ice and snow can have serious consequences, and these conditions can occur anywhere at any time during winter," says NZTA Operations Manager Dave Bates.
"Winter roads need winter drivers. Safe driving in winter is about planning ahead, taking care and adjusting your speed to the conditions."
He said motorists should allow extra time and check road conditions before setting out.
"In winter, weather conditions can change quickly and often without warning, so be prepared for the unexpected."
The NZTA's top winter driving tips:
- Check the latest road condition information on www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link), by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49), or listening to your local radio station.
- Plan your journey and allow extra time
- Get plenty of sleep and don't drive if you're feeling tired.
- Be alert, take care and adjust your speed to the conditions
- Obey all road signs
- Avoid unnecessary night time and early morning trips, and avoid travelling if severe weather is forecast.
- Watch for ice, frost and slippery road surfaces particularly in the early morning, as temperatures drop at night, and at all times in shaded areas.
- Check your car is roadworthy and that you have at least half a tank of petrol.
- Carry chains and know how to fit them.
- Note that there are new legal requirements for winter tyres: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/winter-tyres/docs/winter-tyres-pamphlet.pdf(external link)
- Be prepared for the unexpected; carry warm clothes, sturdy footwear, food and water, and a survival kit, in case you get stuck.