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Heat Stressed Roads Cause Buckle And Rip And Motorbike Fatality.

Motorcycle after crashing
14th May 2014

Following our last post on the ways that a motorcyclists can stay both cool and safe during the current spell of severely hot temperatures, one reader enquired as to any specific type of accident that might occur because of the extreme heat and whether a motorbike accident claim is possible.

In practice, every claim must be examined according to the individual circumstances of the incident and to determine the exact reason/s - weather related, though they may be - which contribute to a collision involving a motorbike rider and another vehicle.

Aside from the increased likelihood of heat stress causing motorists to become increasingly impatient or agitated, which may lead to a loss of usual driving control and road judgment, there can be a dramatic effect caused by heat upon the road itself.

Tyre blow outs, caused by overheating and building pressure are not unusual in hot weather and the risk of melting tarmac, which can both cause serious accidents. Worse is the severe break-up of the road surface, commonly known as “ buckling”.

Road melt and buckle...

Like potholes, the appearance of buckling on the road is not that unusual. The danger can be widespread as the majority of UK roads will start to melt as the surface temperature reaches 50C, while just 5 per cent of roads are heat resistant up to 80C.

At the start of the week, as temperatures reached 30C, the clockwise stretch of the M25 between Junctions 23 and 25 was shut for more than 12 hours caused by the road buckling up to a foot high. As a result, a motorist crashed into the erupting tarmac followed by six or seven more vehicles.

In this instance, no motorcyclist was known to have been directly involved but this was not the case in Germany.

Temperatures reaching 34C have also caused the country's autobahns to buckle and rip apart in many places, claiming the life of a motorcyclist when the 59 year old rider somersaulted over a bulge, which appeared in a stretch of road 60km north of Munich, and crashed into a guardrail. Prior to the crash, four people were injured in vehicles that had driven over the same section of disrupted road.

The current heatwave looks set to continue with no end in sight forecast. As temperatures nudge up the celsius scale, motorbike riders need to not only watch out for heat stressed drivers likely to make driving errors but also those heat stressed roads which can also rear up out of control