PLANNING YOUR JOURNEY
- Always check the weather forecast and road conditions before you leave.
Consider if you really need to travel, especially if the weather is poor.
Think about where you’re going and what route you should take – choose safety over convenience.
Inform a family member or friend about the route you are taking, and estimated arrival time at your destination.
If travel can’t be put off, allow extra time for your journey.
Plan to drive during daylight hours when visibility is better and hazards such as ice and snow are less likely. Avoid driving at night when hazards rapidly multiply.
If travelling long distances, make sure you are well rested and plan where to have a break.
Share the driving if possible or allow for stops every two hours.
Dress for the conditions, carry additional warm clothes and keep a survival kit in your vehicle in case you do get stuck.
Ensure your car is roadworthy and keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle in case you get diverted onto another route or you are forced to turn back.
Be prepared for snow and carry tyre chains that you know how to fit and use.
Drive slower than you normally would – it only takes a split second to lose control in wet or icy conditions.
- Avoid sudden braking or turning that could cause you to skid. Accelerate smoothly and brake gently, and use your highest gear when travelling uphill and your lowest downhill.
- For vehicles without anti-skid braking systems, pump the brake pedal in short rapid bursts rather than pressing long and hard to avoid skidding or sliding.
- Drive at a safe travelling distance because it takes longer to stop on slippery roads. In winter, especially in poor weather, double the two-second rule to ensure a safe distance between you and the car in front.
- When travelling in fog, rain or snow, drive with your lights dipped for increased safety.
- As well as other drivers, there could be winter maintenance vehicles on the highway helping to keep the road open. If you come across any of these vehicles, stay a safe distance behind them and don’t pass unless you’re instructed to.
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH DRIVING CONDITIONS
On roads that are subject to closure in winter, electronic message signs provide drivers with up-to-date warnings on current conditions. The messages on these signs are changed remotely and will be blank when there are no restrictions.
Many radio stations will also provide road
Condition bulletins, so listen to your local station for updates.
You can also call 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or visit www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic for the latest road conditions, or see the hazard map on our home page.