Furthermore the number of road traffic fatalities during heat waves is around a third higher during heatwaves.
Stef Willems of VIAS explains that “On the one hand there are more vulnerable road-users such as cyclists, motorcyclists and walkers during periods of fine weather. But on top of this drivers’ concentration diminishes due to the heat. Moreover, people are often tired as they aren’t able to sleep well at night because of the heat, making the situation on our roads more dangerous than on other days”.
The heat also makes drivers more irritable than usual and their reaction times are affected.
There is no simple solution to the issue. Mr Willems advises everyone to be more alert and above all to remain calm behind the wheel.
"Even more than otherwise your attention needs to be kept 100% on the road. You should be distracted by your smartphone, be extra alert for vulnerable road users and definitely don’t drive when you have been drinking”.