With rain forecast in many parts of the country after an extended run of hot summer days, the NZ Transport Agency is urging drivers to be aware of potentially dangerous ‘summer ice’ on the roads.
“We all know that snow, ice and heavy rain can make the roads slippery and dangerous, but after a long period of hot, dry weather like we’ve just had, even light rain can make road surfaces slippery, with the potential for serious crashes if drivers don’t adjust to the conditions,” says Transport Agency Chief Safety Adviser Colin Brodie.
Mr Brodie says that light rain forecast in many parts of the country could create unusual and potentially dangerous driving conditions known as ‘summer ice’.
“Light rain can seem innocuous, but after a dry spell, it can be more dangerous than heavy rain.
“When we have an extended run of warm dry weather, the tiny particles emitted by your vehicle’s exhaust and other fine dust particles gradually build up on the road surface because they’re not being washed away by rainfall. When we get light rain after several dry days the amount of rain isn’t intense enough to quickly wash away all of that built-up grime, so it sits on the road surface, creating a very slippery film.
“Our advice to anyone driving in the rain or on a damp or wet road over the next few days is to take extreme care and assume that there is an invisible, slippery film on the road surface that will increase their stopping distances and make it easier to lose control. We’re urging drivers to keep safe by reducing their speeds, increasing their following distances, and taking extra care.”
Mr Brodie also urged drivers to check the tread level and air pressure on their tyres.
“Properly inflated tyres with good treads are always a must for safe travel, but even more so in wet or slippery conditions.”
For the latest on highway conditions phone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or visit the website: www.highwayinfo.govt.nz(external link)
For more information please contact:
NZ Transport Agency