Gritters could be deployed to combat melting roads

melting UK roads in summer heat

Hot weather can cause chaos for travellers, not lease due to melting roads. Bizarrely, the RAC says gritting trucks could be the answer.

“Drivers might start to see something that they’d normally only associate with the depths of winter – gritting trucks, as salt can help improve the grip on roads that are starting melt,” explained RAC breakdown spokesperson, Rod Dennis.

“Dark asphalt on the road surfaces absorbs a lot of heat and is like chocolate. It melts when it is hot and goes brittle when it cools down,” said Dave Rigby, chief technical officer at the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA).

“I would not be surprised to see gritters out over the next couple of days, they are used to spread dust and sand which absorbs the soft bitumen, stabilising the road surface and making it less sticky.”

How to spot a melting road

melting UK roads in summer heat

You can see a road is melting if certain sections are darker in appearance. Tar surfaces soak up a great deal of heat and can get extremely hot.

It won’t damage your car tyres, but don’t go out walking barefoot; you could get burns and blisters. It’s also worth remembering that when taking your four-legged friend for a walk.

Won’t get fuelled again

The heat can confuse people, too. The RAC reports more people are putting the wrong fuel into their cars.

“We see a variety of breakdowns occurring with the hot weather, perhaps as a result of drivers getting hot under the collar. We’ve seen increases in the number of drivers mis-fuelling – putting petrol in a diesel engine, or vice-versa – as well as those running out of fuel in recent days.”

Make sure your car is ready 

melting UK roads in summer heat

The RAC is warning of more breakdowns during the hot weather, too.

“We really cannot stress enough the importance of drivers checking their car is ready for the hot weather before setting out, especially if they are travelling a long distance – perhaps as part of a summer getaway,” said Rod Dennis.

“Checking things like fuel and oil levels, and ensuring tyres are pumped up properly and have plenty of tread, can go a long way towards preventing getting stuck at the side of the road in the heat.”