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Wet weather driving care needed after dry spell

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Heavy rain forecast for Northland 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 with the rain,” says the Transport Agency’s Journey Manager for Northland, Jacqui Hori-Hoult.

“Throughout the recent dry spell,  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.”

Ms Hori-Hoult 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,”  she says.

A number of minor crashes have been reported on regional roads due to slippery conditions.

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