A truck travels between Ōmārama and Kurow after heavy snowfall on June 13.
Following two collisions in icy conditions in the Mackenzie District on Wednesday morning, the South Canterbury Road Safety Co-ordinator is urging motorists to take a proactive approach to safe winter driving.
Two people were injured in crashes on State Highway 8 just after midnight Tuesday, including one who was hit by a truck near the site of an earlier accident. Icy conditions caused the road to be closed later Wednesday morning.
Road safety coordinator Daniel Naude is urging motorists to drive much more slowly in icy conditions rather than reducing their speed by 5 to 10 km/h.
“Prevention is the first line of defence. People need to slow down,” Naude said.
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“If it’s a choice, refrain from driving and wait until the sun is out and the ice has melted.”
Naude said that when traveling in winter in freezing conditions, motorists should be prepared before leaving and have warm clothing, a fully charged phone, battery bank, food and water, just in case. where they would be involved in an accident or become stranded.
He said that if you are involved in an accident and the vehicle ends up in a dangerous place on the road, you can get out of the car and move to a safer place.
“Turn on the hazard warning lights and turn off the headlights as this will drain the battery.”
In a situation where a vehicle begins to skid out of control in icy conditions, Naude said it’s important not to hit the brakes hard.
“Don’t put the brakes on and hope for the best,” he said.
“Pump the brakes with slow movements toward the steering wheel. Don’t brake hard and hard or jerk the steering wheel. Steer smoothly.
Naude said a vehicle can be replaced, but not a human body.
“It’s fine to sacrifice the vehicle than to sacrifice yourself or the passengers,” he said.
“To ensure the safety of people inside the car, if you have to crash into a ditch to avoid a serious accident, do it.”
Naude also asks people to follow directions on the roads and check the Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency website which shows where the icy paths are.
He added that car tires play an important role when it’s snowing outside.
“You cannot use normal tires in snowy conditions. Make sure the wheel treads are above minimum standards and the vehicle is in good condition. »