Watch Out For Summer Ice

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

Because we have the best vehicles at the best prices, we believe we should be your first stop for rental cars in Christchurch. As well as the most affordable car and van hire in Christchurch, we will give you plenty of local knowledge as well. When you pick up your vehicle hire close to Christchurch airport, your Canterbury-based team will answer all your questions about where to dine, places to visit in the city, and day trips you can make around the region.

Because our Christchurch team drive local roads every day, they’ll be able to advise you on the road conditions in their neck of the woods. For example, “summer ice” is an issue in Canterbury thanks to our warm climate in spring and summer. Our famous gale – the Canterbury nor’wester – brings hot, dry winds that make summer ice more common here than in a lot of other places around the country. It might sound alarming but if you know what to expect and how to handle it, then you will be fine.

During Canterbury’s long dry and windy spells over spring and summer, oil, dust, dirt, and other materials build up on the road surface. When it rains, the road becomes greasy, making it very slippery – the greatest risk to drivers is shortly after the rain starts and before the water has had a chance to clean the road’s surface. Even a short shower after a few days of dry weather can create these slippery conditions, creating a potential danger for unsuspecting drivers.

“Summer ice” is the term used to describe these conditions and they’re similar to black ice that we encounter in winter. This is a cumulative build-up of material on the road surface and is very much dependent on the weather, so there’s no way of managing it. Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) can issue warnings but the best way to deal with it is to anticipate slippery “summer ice” conditions when you drive in rainy weather after a prolonged dry period.

To stay safe in these conditions, follow these simple tips:

  • Keep your speed down on wet roads after a long dry period
  • Taking special care on winding roads and curves
  • Increase your following distance from the vehicles in front of you
  • Brake and steer gently
  • Allow extra travel time in case you encounter summer ice conditions.

Those tips prove how easy it is to handle “summer ice” and stay safe on Canterbury’s beautiful roads. The best way to explore them is in one of our reliable and comfortable rental vehicles, so when it’s time to come to the Mainland this summer, contact us and we’ll look after you with a hot deal.    

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