Black ice sent vehicles skidding off the road yesterday, with Clutha police called out to 13 crashes in three hours.
Senior Sergeant Dave Scott, of the district command centre in Dunedin, said ice caused havoc across the region, with several crashes between Clinton and Waikouaiti.
Crashes were mostly in coastal areas with at least a further seven crashes more than the 13 in Clutha, he said.
The worst was a 4WD that went off the flood-free highway near Waihola at 7.25am and rolled into a paddock, Scott said.
The driver suffered minor injuries.
Black ice caught some motorists out as it often looked as though the roads were only wet not icy, he said.
Sergeant Craig Dinnissen, of Balclutha, said it was an "exceptionally busy morning" for emergency services.
The Clutha crashes all occurred between about 6.30 and 9.30am and included three on the Owaka highway, two on the Clinton highway, and one on the Milton highway.
Nobody was seriously injured but there were some lucky people out there, Dinnissen said.
"Black ice is notorious on rural roads as well as on State Highway 1. Grit doesn't mean people can drive at speed, they still need to slow down."
- The Southland Times