Chesapeake Bay Bridge Car Accident Lawyers
The Bay Bridge in Maryland is the gateway to the Eastern Shore, but the speed on the bridge and narrow lanes, with no shoulders, present an especially dangerous environment for Bay Bridge drivers. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident on the Bay Bridge, speak with one of our auto accident lawyers today.
How Often Are There Accidents on the Bay Bridge?
Between 2008 to 2011, 43 crashes occurred on the Bay Bridge. the last major accident to occur on the Bay Bridge was on December 29, 2020. On this day, a truck driver plowed into the guardrail and fell into the water.
As more drivers cross the bridge every day, additional accidents are bound to happen. the risk for collisions is increased when two-way traffic is in effect.
Typically, there are about 20 accidents on the Bay Bridge each year. it is important to stay alert and be cautious while driving across the bridge to protect yourself and others.
How Did A Car Fall Off the Bay Bridge?
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is known for its lack of a shoulder and narrow lanes. With this being said, a driver has no way of avoiding a collision if a vehicle ahead of them comes to a sudden stop. This problem escalates during rush hour when cars are bumper to bumper which often leads to a chain reaction just after one crash.
Since 1964, 15 vehicles have fallen off of the Bay Bridge which have resulted in deaths and major injuries. Many collisions that result in drivers falling off of the Bay Bridge are due to the occasional use of two-way traffic on the bridge. the majority of the crashes on the Bay Bridge occur when two-way traffic is in effect or during rush hour traffic.
When two-way traffic was in effect, three drivers were killed and five were injured from a collision. A trailer came loose from a car that was towing it while driving on the bridge. This collision occurred while the three-lane bridge was allowing two-way traffic to travel across.
History of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge
The William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge (Bay Bridge, WPL) was opened in 1952 and was the world’s largest over-water steel structure. the bridge received its name from the former Maryland governor, William Preston Lane Jr, who played a major role in obtaining approval for the construction of the bridge.
The bridge measures 17.6 miles from shore to shore and is considered to be one of the world’s largest bridge-tunnel complexes. As easier transportation was needed for those crossing the bay, a group of Baltimore businessmen were authorized to raise money to build the bridge. Details of the plan were laid out, but everything came to a halt due to the stock market crash in 1929.
After years of planning and mapping, construction began in 1949. After just one year, a third of the bridge was complete and the underwater work was finished. On November 9, 1967, the bridge was rededicated as the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge.
Why is the Bay Bridge So Dangerous?
The Bay Bridge is dangerous because of its lack of a shoulder for drivers to pull off to. With this being said, there is nowhere for drivers to stop if needed. Many drivers cite the low walls on the bridge to add to their fears while crossing.
Many people experience anxiety and panic when driving across the Bay Bridge. Some say that as they age, their fear of the bridge becomes worse. it can be hard for those who have a fear of heights to remain focused on the road.
The Bay Bridge can become very dangerous when there is heavy rain, wind, or there is an inability to see land due to storms. Morning fog can make visibility difficult which can lead to collisions. When the weather is bad, many say that they are unable to see the shore when they get to the middle of the bridge.
Many drivers feel unsafe on the Bay Bridge due to the small guardrails and the steep overlook of the water. the constant stop-and-go traffic during rush hour also heightens drivers’ anxiety and builds stress.
What are the best times to travel across the bridge?
The best times to travel across the Bay Bridge in the summer are:
- Thursday and Friday: Anytime before 10 am and after 10 pm
- Saturday: Before 7 am and after 10 pm
- Sunday: Between 10 am and after 10 pm
Rush hour is the most dangerous time to travel across the Bay Bridge. During the hours of 5 pm to 8pm, there is constant stop and go traffic and drivers tend to become restless and annoyed.
This makes driving over the bridge during these hours stressful and frustrating.
What Should I Do If In An Accident on the Bay Bridge?
If you are involved in a collision on the Bay Bridge, it is important to remain in your vehicle as long as possible to avoid being hit by a car.
Try to remain calm and stay in your vehicle until an authorized personnel arrives at the scene to assist you and others involved.
Since there are no shoulders on the bridge, getting out of your vehicle at any time is life threatening. the bridge is narrow, so opening a car door could be dangerous as well.
Traffic is most likely to occur due to a collision on the bridge. Oftentimes, other drivers who have a background in the medical field will get out of their cars to assist those who were injured in the crash.
Once law enforcement arrives at the scene, traffic will be controlled and drivers will be able to move past the collision safely.
What are the main causes of accidents on the Bay Bridge?
The Bay Bridge becomes even more dangerous with the risky drivers that cross every day. the primary cause of crashes on the Bay Bridge is due to tailgating.
Much of the time, drivers are eager to get off the bridge as fast as they can, or they drive slower to take precautions.
These two issues cause drivers to tailgate others, which causes a majority of the collisions on the bridge. it is important to be patient and respect others while driving over the Bay Bridge.
Accidents on the Bay Bridge are also caused by road rage, texting and driving, distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, lack of following traffic laws, fatigued driving, and aggressive driving. Speeding is another main cause of accidents on the Bay Bridge.
When winds exceed 55mph, the Bay Bridge is closed for travel in order to keep drivers safe.
Every driver crossing the Bay Bridge must be attentive and cautious so collisions, injuries, and deaths are avoided. Follow the traffic laws and be careful!
Contact a Chesapeake Bay Bridge Accident Lawyer Today!
If you’ve been hurt while traveling on the Bay Bridge in Maryland, speak with our car crash lawyers today.