Drive to the conditions

by Anonymous Author

Selwyn District Council and Police are reminding motorists of the dangers of winter driving as the wintry months approach.

Weather conditions such as fog, rain, icy roads, sun strike and snow pose challenges for even the most skilled drivers. Reduced visibility and traction on the roads can lead to road crashes.

Senior Sergeant, Pete Stills, of the New Zealand Police said there are inherent risks in winter driving, but motorists can act to improve road safety.

“Make sure you have sufficient tread depth on your tyres and that your brakes are in warrant of fitness condition,” Sergeant Stills said.

“Ensure your wiper blades are in good condition and can clear your windscreen easily. Drive with your lights on, and watch your following distances and speed on curves and through bends.

“Be mindful of wet and shaded roads where ice can form. Bridges are risky due to being very cold through having no ground immediately below them,” he said.

Crash statistics from Selwyn show that between 2013 and 2017 there were twice as many accidents in the morning peak period of 6am–9am in the winter months (June, July and August) as in the summer months (December, January and February).

A total of 87 crashes occurred in this morning peak period in winter between 2013 and 2017, with a total of 46 crashes occurring in this time in the summer.

The council’s roading contractors will be monitoring local roads for ice and laying grit when needed throughout winter.

Motorists still need to drive carefully and reduce their speed when driving on grit.

Free windscreen cloths and ice scrapers will be available in June from council libraries and service centres and some rural garages.