While rare, a major fear for drivers across the world is that they will be driving over a bridge while it collapses. Although there are extensive safety measures and calculations that go into building a vehicular bridge, anything can happen. Continue reading for more information on the potential dangers of driving over bridges. If you have further questions or require representation, a New York auto accident lawyer can help.

brooklyn bridge

How is Driving on Bridges More Hazardous than Other Roads?

So is your fear of bridges justified or is it irrational? You may have conflicted feelings when you learn that car accidents on bridges are 10 times more dangerous than accidents that occur on a regular road. But how is that so? The following is a list of unique dangers that can be found when driving on a bridge.

  • The road is typically narrower
  • There is usually no shoulder or extra space
  • Because of weight limitations bridges cannot be resurfaced or repaired as often as regular roads
  • They often lack effective drainage systems
  • Bridges freeze much more quickly than regular roads
  • Poor design or structural integrity

Bridges are necessary for travel today but it is important to exercise caution when crossing one, particularly during the winter. Regular roads freeze during the winter weather due to the cold air from above. Because bridges do not have the same protective layer of the earth underneath, cold air targets the bridge’s surface from above and below, causing it to freeze faster even on a relatively mild day.

What Kinds of Accidents Are Common on Bridges?

Any accident that can occur on a regular road can also occur on a bridge. However, because of the aforementioned dangers, some accidents are more common than others.

Rear-end collisions: These can occur on any road but can be particularly common on a bridge. Because cars do not have as much room to swerve or maneuver away from an accident without recklessly entering other lanes, rear-end accidents can be common.
Multiple car pileups: If rear-end collisions are common, multiple in a row can happen as well. If there is not enough time for the car behind to stop and avoid the accident, you could be involved in a several-car-long accident.
Going overboard: This is likely one of the biggest fears people have when thinking about driving over bridges. Although there are safety measures to prevent this like walls and barriers, when traveling via a bridge there is always a risk of a collision forcing your car over the side.
Side impact crash: Barriers and walls are important structural parts of bridges to prevent cars from going overboard. However, if your car is forced into one of the walls it can result in a side impact that can cause extensive damage.
Collapse: Besides going overboard, the bridge collapsing is another major concern of people with a fear of bridges. It is a rare occurrence but if certain factors align just right it is possible that the bridge will collapse. This could be caused by poor design, too much weight, a natural disaster, and more.