Tower urges caution for Kiwi drivers this long weekend
Tower is urging Aucklanders to drive safely, as they prepare to exit New Zealand’s biggest city for the long weekend, amongst multiple MetService weather warnings.
MetService has issued heavy rain warnings for Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty west of Whakatane. Northland and Auckland also have severe thunderstorm watches in place, with an additional strong wind watch in place for Auckland.
Tower Chief Claims Officer Steve Wilson is urging extra caution due to the conditions and increased traffic.
“We tend to see around a 15% increase in motor accident claims due to wet weather like this so, with more Kiwis on our roads due to the long weekend, the risk of accidents is heightened. Please be extra careful on our roads.
“We know that road trips, especially in the summer months, are a part of Kiwi culture. We are hoping that by sharing a few tips and tricks, we can help Kiwis stay safe and most importantly, get home safe.”
Before you go, remember:
- Make a rough plan of your trip. Consider weather conditions, traffic flow and isolated incidents like roadworks. Check your oil, water, windscreen washer fluid and tyres before you go too.
- Keep alert and drive to the conditions. Heavy rain means a slower pace is safest. Be careful, do not attempt to drive through any flood water or water rising above the road, as you don’t the condition of the road underneath or the depth of the water. Even if you have made your trip many times before, heavy rain may cause slips road closures – the landscape may not look the same in this weather.
On the road, remember:
- The 'two-second rule’ to keep your distance from the car in front. As they pass a fixed object like a power pole start counting ‘one Whakarewarewa, two Whakarewarewa’. If you pass the fixed object before you're done, you're too close.
- If someone's tailgating you, pull over and let them go. It's just not worth the risk. If you're towing, keep checking your rear vision mirror for vehicles and let faster vehicles pass when safe to do so. So many accidents can be avoided if you do.
- Stop every two hours for five to 10 minutes, to avoid becoming too tired behind the wheel. When stopped, give yourself and your whānau time to stretch, this will help keep your kids from getting too disruptive while you’re driving.
“As an insurer, our job is to be there for people when they need us most. We take this responsibility very seriously and see part of that role as helping our communities avoid the need to make a claim if possible – it’s about safety,” says Mr Wilson.
“Of course, if you do need to make a claim we are here to help, do not hesitate to reach out to your insurer should you need assistance.”
For those staying put this long weekend who may be affected by heavy rain, in the first instance, Tower encourages customers to claim online by visiting tower.co.nz/claims/. For urgent enquiries please call the Tower team on 0800 379 372.
For more information on what to do during different weather events, Tower’s blog features helpful advice to keep you and your family safe.