As we move faster and faster into the Minnesota summer, drivers might be required to successfully navigate obstacles of all shapes and sizes on the roads. One of the most unexpected and dangerous scenarios includes not the other drivers – but damage to the roads themselves. Pavement buckles.

The upper Midwest is prone to aggressive seasonal temperature changes. Going from extreme heat to violent cold and back again causes the ground to expand and contract repeatedly over the course of the year. Anyone who has seen cracks in the sidewalk, driveways or highways has witnessed evidence of this expansion and contraction.

Where does this occur?

When the air temperature changes from moderate to extreme heat, pavement buckles can occur. When a road is constructed, it is not built in one continuous section. It is cut into segments designed to allow for weather-related flexibility. Unfortunately, numerous scenarios lead to sections of pavement to grind against each other and explode upward – creating hazardous inclines in the road. If the pavement is older or weaker, or not enough space was built into the design, or sections of different construction materials come together a pavement buckle can occur.

What should drivers do?

Pavement buckles can be dangerous for drivers of all types of motor vehicles including cars, trucks and motorcycles. If possible, a buckle should be avoided by moving into an adjacent lane. If changing lanes is not possible, it is wise to slow down as much as the flow of traffic allows. Unfortunately, a pavement heave can be difficult to see at night, when it is raining or when there is heavy traffic. If you or a loved one was injured because of this type of road hazard, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your options for monetary compensation.