Scientific paper ID 1448 : 2017/3

Zornitsa Spasova, Tzvetan Dimitrov

Considering the significant probability of increasing the number of days with extremely high air temperatures – an event tightly connected with climate change, it is of the utmost importance for society to take preventive measures to mitigate the effects of this adverse heat impact. The aim of this article is to summarize the research carried out by the world scientific community on the impact of heat waves on transport and, in particular, on traffic accidents.

Almost all studies indicate that heat waves can increase the risk of unexpected injuries and road accidents. This is particularly true of crashes caused by factors such as distraction, driver error, fatigue or sleepiness. High ambient temperature is an important factor leading to increased stress and reduced ability to perform intellectual tasks as well as those requiring significant physical effort and motor skills. Heat waves cause sleeping disturbances, which can lead to greater fatigue in drivers. During the warm half of the year the traffic is more intense and speed is higher, which is also a prerequisite for a greater number of road traffic accidents.

The information provided will help to facilitate public dialogue on the topic as well as to implement policies and measures of various institutions and public organizations to mitigate this harmful climatic event.

климатични промени горещи вълни транспорт пътнотранспортни произшествияclimate change heat waves transport road accidentsZornitsa Spasova Tzvetan Dimitrov


[1] V-k. „Dnevnik“, 2017 Balgariya s nay-mnogo zaginali v katastrofi v ES:
( [1] В-к. „Дневник“, 2017 България с най-много загинали в катастрофи в ЕС: )


[3] Souch C. and C. Grimmond, Applied climatology: ‘heat waves, Progress in Physical Geography 28,4 (2004) pp. 599–606

[4] Gocheva A., K. Malcheva. 2010 Extremely Hot Spells on the Territory of Bulgaria. Bulgarian Journal of Meteorology and Hydrology (BJMH), 15/3, 64-81

[5] Kirtman B, Power SB, Adedoyin JA, Boer GJ, Bojariu R, Camilloni I, et al. 2013. Near-term climate change: projections and predictability. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner GK, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, et al. eds). New York:Cambridge University Press, 953–1028

[6] Improving public health responses to extreme weather/heat-waves – EuroHEAT, WHO, 2009

[7] Lozano R, Naghavi M, Foreman K, Lim S, Shibuya K, Aboyans V, et al. 2012. Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 380(9859):2095–2128.

[8] World Health Organization. 2013. Global Status Report on Road Safety: 2013. Supporting a Decade of Action. Geneva:World Health Organization.

[9] Andrey J, Mills B, Leahy M, Suggett J. 2003. Weather as a chronic hazard for road transportation in Canadian cities. Nat Hazards (Dordr) 28:319–343.

[10] Confalonieri U, Menne B, Akhtar R, Ebi KL, Hauengue M, Kovats RS, et al. 2007. Human health. In: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE, eds). Cambridge, UK:Cambridge University Press, 391–431.

[11] Basagaña X. 2014. High ambient temperatures and work-related injuries. Occup Environ Med 71(4):231, doi:10.1136/oemed-2013-102031.

[12] Basagaña X, Sartini C, Barrera-Gómez J, Dadvand P, Cunillera J, Ostro B, et al. 2011. Heat waves and cause-specific mortality at all ages. Epidemiology 22(6):765–772.

[13] Xiang J, Bi P, Pisaniello D, Hansen A, Sullivan T. 2014. Association between high temperature and work-related injuries in Adelaide, South Australia, 2001–2010. Occup Environ Med 71(4):246–252.

[14] Daanen HA, van de Vliert E, Huang X. 2003. Driving performance in cold, warm, and thermoneutral environments. Appl Ergon 34(6):597–602.

[15] Mackie RR, O’Hanlon JF. 1977. A study of the combined effects of extended driving and heat stress on driver arousal and performance. In: Vigilance: Theory, Operational Performance and Physiological Correlates (Mackie RR, ed). New York:Plenum Press, 537–558

[16] Walker SM, Ackland TR, Dawson B. 2001. The combined effect of heat and carbon monoxide on the performance of motorsport athletes. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 128(4):709–718.

[17] Wyon DP, Wyon I, Norin F. 1996. Effects of moderate heat stress on driver vigilance in a moving vehicle. Ergonomics 39(1):61–75.

[18] Radio Praha, 2015 Heat Waves in Summer Played Role in Increased Number of Traffic Accidents:

[19] Shiryaeva A., 2016, Meteorologicheskie usloviya funktsionirovaniya avtotransporta na teritorii Moskvy i Moskovskoy oblasti. Izvestiya RAN, seriya geograficheskaya, № 5, s. 99 – 106
( [19] Ширяева А., 2016, Метеорологические условия функционирования автотранспорта на територии Москвы и Московской области. Известия РАН, серия географическая, № 5, с. 99 – 106 )

[20] Otte im Kampe E, et al. 2016 Impact of High Ambient Temperature on Unintentional Injuries in High-income Countries: A Narrative Systematic Literature Review. BMJ Open 2016, 6

[21] Kjellstrom T, Kovats RS, Lloyd SJ, et al. 2009 The direct impact of climate change on regional labor productivity. Arch Environ Occup Health 2009,64:217–27.

[22] Basagaña X, Escalera-Antezana JP, Dadvand P, Llatje Ò, Barrera-Gómez J, Cunillera J, Medina-Ramón M, Pérez K. 2015. High ambient temperatures and risk of motor vehicle crashes in Catalonia, Spain (2000–2011): a time-series analysis. Environ Health Perspect 123:1309–1316,

[23] Nitschke M, Tucker GR, Bi P. 2007 Morbidity and mortality during heatwaves in metropolitan Adelaide. Med J Aust 2007,187:662–5.

[24] Radun I, Radun JE. 2006. Seasonal variation of falling asleep while driving: an examination of fatal road accidents. Chronobiol Int 23(5):1053–1064.

[25] Instituto Nacional de Estadística. 2008. Encuesta de Hogares y Medio Ambiente 2008

[26] Daanen HA, van de Vliert E, Huang X. 2003. Driving performance in cold, warm, and thermoneutral environments. Appl Ergon 34(6):597–602.

[27] Grandjean AC, Grandjean NR., Dehydration and cognitive performance, J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Oct,26(5 Suppl):549S-554S.

[28] Watson P, Whale A, Mears SA, Reyner LA, Maughan RJ. 2015. Mild hypohydration increases the frequency of driver errors during a prolonged, monotonous driving task. Physiol Behav 147:313–318.

[29] Mills B, Andrey J. 2002. Climate change and transportation: potential interactions and impacts. In: The Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Transportation. DOT Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting, Federal Research Partnership Workshop, 1–2 October 2002. Washington, DC, 77–88.

[30] Bergel-Hayat R, Debbarh M, Antoniou C, Yannis G. 2013. Explaining the road accident risk: weather effects. Accid Anal Prev 60:456–465.

[31] Malyshkina NV, Mannering FL, Tarko AP. 2009. Markov switching negative binomial models: an application to vehicle accident frequencies. Accid Anal Prev 41:217–226.

[32] Nofal FH, Saeed AA. 1997. Seasonal variation and weather effects on road traffic accidents in Riyadh city. Public Health 111(1):51–55.

[33] Brijs T, Karlis D, Wets G. 2008. Studying the effect of weather conditions on daily crash counts using a discrete time-series model. Accid Anal Prev 40(3):1180–1190.

[34] Bergel-Hayat R, Debbarh M, Antoniou C, Yannis G. 2013. Explaining the road accident risk: weather effects. Accid Anal Prev 60:456–465.

[35] Rosselló J, Saenz-de-Miera O. 2011. Road accidents and tourism: the case of the Balearic Islands (Spain). Accid Anal Prev 43:675–683.

[36] Yannis G, Karlaftis MG. 2010. Weather effects on daily traffic accidents and fatalities: a time series count data approach. Proceedings of the 89th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, 10–14 January 2010. Washington, DC. .

[37] Tsolova G., T. Ivanova i N. Danova, 2000 Patnotransporten travmatizam v R. Balgariya za perioda 1993-1998, sp. Sotsialna meditsina, 4, 2000, str. 11 – 13
( [37] Цолова Г., T. Иванова и Н. Данова, 2000 Пътнотранспортен травматизъм в Р. България за периода 1993-1998, сп. Социална медицина, 4, 2000, стр. 11 – 13 )

[38] Transporten travmatizam, pod redaktsiyata na S. Radanov, 1990 Meditsina i fizkultura
( [38] Транспортен травматизъм, под редакцията на С. Раданов, 1990 Медицина и физкултура )

[39] Spasova Z. B. 2012 Monthly And Seasonal Distribution Of Road Accidents in Sofia. BALWOIS 2012 - Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia - 28 May, 2 June 2012




This site uses cookies as they are important to its work.

Accept all cookies
Cookies Policy