Travelling and driving abroad can have its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you are a foreigner, you have to make sure you know the driving rules and traffic laws of the place you are visiting.
In New Zealand, there are some things to consider when planning to drive and travel. The place is not overly crowded with people, but there are plenty of vehicles on the road.
Utility vehicles are also favoured here, so if you will be staying a while, it is best to get a 2nd hand ute for sale or rent to make getting around the country faster and safer.
Driving Safely in New Zealand
New Zealand is a country famous for its rolling hills and open roads. If you have just arrived from one of those long haul flights, it is better to be well rested before you attempt to drive. Moreover, this quick guide in driving safely while in New Zealand may be of help:
1. Always drive on the left-hand side of the road. Additionally, it is a good idea to check both sides before turning into a roundabout.
2. Check and follow the weather conditions. New Zealand experiences ice, sleet, snowy, rainy, windy and other inclement weather. Driving during extreme weather conditions requires slower speeds and more careful driving.
3. Follow the speed limits. The round road signs with a black number in a red circle are speed limits. These are strictly enforced for the safety of the community, the driver, passengers and other cars on the road. When near roadworks or in dangerous zones, the speed limit is 30 kph, 50 kph in towns and cities, and 100 kph on highways.
4. Never attempt to drive while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other substances that are prohibited by law. There are very serious consequences and New Zealand authorities do not tolerate driving under the influence. Fines and jail time await offenders.
5. Use and wear proper seat belts and child seats at all times. This applies with no exception to both the driver and passengers. If the driver or the passenger is not wearing a seatbelt, the driver is held accountable and faces a fine.
6. Slowing down before a corner and curve is not a common courtesy; it is a necessity in driving. It is not a coincidence that corners are where a lot of accidents occur. Slowing down allows the driver some safety leeway when approaching the corner. There is a diamond shaped sign indicating the corner. The sign has an arrow in the shape of the curve or corner and a number below that. The number is the recommended fastest speed to take the corner. Not heeding the sign is asking for trouble.
7. The stop sign is not a request. Whenever there is a stop sign, you have to stop and look for approaching traffic. Not stopping at the stop sign is a traffic infraction and can lead to fines.
Keeping Safe on the Road
New Zealand has its fair share of road accidents. While authorities are constantly improving traffic and monitoring road activity, it is inevitable for accidents to occur. People cause most of these accidents. Among the leading factors are sleep deprivation, over fatigue, drugs, alcohol, over speeding and other substance use. Following road rules is necessary when driving.