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Buckle up and beat the heat

Estherville News Editorial

June 12, 2016
Estherville News Staff , Estherville News

With the extreme temperatures, incidents of pavement buckling have been reported around the upper Midwest. With temperatures reaching the 90s, highway officials warn motorists to keep on the lookout for pavement buckling, and for the brake lights of the cars in front of you coming to a quick stop or trying to get out of the way of concrete chunk obstacles.

Experts say it tends to be a big problem during the first few heat waves of the season.

Heat causes concrete to expand, and where there are expansion joints to allow for the expansion, the slabs sometimes will push up against each other, with the pressure causing the pavement to move up and buckle.

We think the ice-caused potholes are bad. Buckling can happen quickly.

The DOT says motorists should watch for slowing traffic in case there is a pavement buckle, and if repair crews are working on the issue, be extra careful and move over to provide a safe zone for the work crews.

The DOT adds that while in thousands of miles of highway, this happens relatively infrequently, there's no way to know when the highway will buckle. Hot, sticky weather creates more cracks.

Transportation officials have more advice for your summer road trips.

Before you travel:

Plan your route in advance

Notify someone of your route, destination and estimated time of arrival

Fill the tank and try to keep it three-quarters full. Running out of gas, especially in a remote location, is dangerous in extreme heat.

Have a first-aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, fully charged cell phone, travel tool kit and battery cables, safety flares, healthy snacks, and a road map.

Check your tire pressure and for uneven or rapid wear. Also look for road debris that may have damaged your tire, such as nails, glass, and metal.

Make sure the air conditioning system is working properly.

If caught in heavy rain:

Reduce speed and maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

Avoid areas where water is pooling in the road.

Be cautious of hydroplaning.

Expect the unexpected.

We hope everyone enjoys a safe summer on the road.



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