Ever since the tragedy in 2012, where an accident caused two deaths, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge has been an increasingly scary part of the Beltway. Crossing bridges and overpasses in general, can be somewhat nerve-racking. But is this fear justified or completely irrational?
Many people have a fear of bridges, and for good reason; accidents are 10 times more dangerous on bridges than on regular roads. This is due to more confined spaces and dangerous situations. However, knowing the potential risks before you drive over a bridge can help you determine the best and most defensive way of driving.
Bridge Collision Risks
- Chain reaction collisions – Due to the confined space on a bridge, there is little to no room to maneuver in order to avoid an accident.
- Side bridge impacts – Bridge barriers protect cars from accidentally driving off the sides and into any water or underpasses. However, they can also cause an extreme side-door impact if pushed into one, resulting in severe injuries, crushed and mangled car bodies, as well as the possibility of passengers becoming pinned between the barrier and other cars.
- Forced overboard – With any bridge, there is a risk that in an accident your car may be forced over the edge—causing your car to plummet into water, crash into an underpass, or fall into a ditch. These risks are increased by the amount of traffic on the bridge at the time of the accident, as a chain reaction collision could cause several cars to collide into yours, pushing you closer and closer to the edge.
- Bridge collapse – Although extremely uncommon, some bridges have been known to collapse when there was too much weight, or when irregular vibrations affected their structural stability.
Thousands of people a year are injured or killed in bridge accidents worldwide. However, this shouldn’t deter you from driving on them. Once you know the risks, it is easier to identify potential problems and react accordingly. Just remember to stay safe and alert while crossing.
Are you currently suffering from injuries sustained during a bridge accident? We can help get you the damages you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation and more information about your legal rights and your injury claim.
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