Wintry Mixes Create Slick Driving Conditions on Bridges

Ice, sleet, snow and freezing rain conditions are likely to blame for those bridge accident multi-vehicle pileups that induce dozens of personal injuries throughout the cold-weather seasons in the Midwest. And with Indiana home to more than 18,900 bridges, an estimated 50 million square feet, some passes become “intolerable” and pose an especially high risk of becoming hazardous when wintry mixes hit the extra exposed pavement. Plan for the Ronald Reagan Parkway and several other structures to continue to be tricky to navigate across as cold, wet and slick weather approaches. To help our readers stay safe, Wagner Reese’s auto accident injury attorneys have pulled together a list of Indiana bridge crossings and structured areas known to quickly deteriorate this time of year.

  • Avon Bridge
  • Clark Memorial Bridge
  • Greentown Bridge
  • Kennedy Bridge
  • McKees Rocks Bridge
  • Paoli Bridge
  • Ronald Reagan Parkway
  • Spottsville Bridge

As you travel Indiana roads and over these many bridges this winter, know what areas continue to be bothersome for Hoosier drivers and pay special attention to weather warnings and your own winter driving choices.

Reduce Your Bridge Accident Risk This Winter

There are many bridge crash factors that are completely out of the control of even the most experienced driver such as an improperly designed, constructed, or maintained bridge. These issues grow as excess water and melting snow easily accumulates and poses an extra dangerous winter hydroplane and deadly black ice risk. It’s a driver’s reaction to regaining control of a sliding vehicle on a bridge that can greatly impact the severity of the accident. If a driver overreacts by aggressively braking or overcorrecting, a serious crash may occur. This is when it is critical for a driver to avoid panicking by making good decisions and knowing what to do.

First, if a vehicle starts to slip on a bridge, the driver should let up on the gas slowly, hold the steering wheel with both hands and avoid quick braking. Braking while sliding or hydroplaning will throw a driver into a vicious skid (unless they are anti-lock brakes) and possible off a bridge. If in a skid, operators can regain control by steering in the direction of the slide, trying to keep the vehicle centered in the correct lane. Once back in control, it’s a good idea for a driver to safely pull over to regroup and gain confidence before continuing to drive. In addition to knowing what to do if in a slide or skid, there are several other good driving practices everyone can do to lower their own risk of being injured in a bridge accident.

  1. Properly maintain your tires, especially during rainy and cold weather seasons. Ensure the tires are properly inflated, and the tread has an appropriate depth.
  2. When a downpour hits and temperatures drop, lower your speed.
  3. Keep your eyes on the road and watch for standing water, slush, and ice.
  4. Increase the distance between your vehicle and other cars to allow for additional reaction time if something happens.
  5. Turn off cruise control. The presence of water or ice on the roads can encourage the cruise control to increase speed, similar to what happens when a car in cruise control experiences an incline on the road.
  6. Stay sober and alert. Always buckle up.

Once water or snow is sitting on a bridge a tragedy is more likely to happen, but practicing these good driving behaviors can heighten or lower the risk of being seriously injured.

Contact Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Wagner Reese

During the winter months especially, we want to help you arrive at your destination safely and without incident. But if you or a loved one has been injured in a bridge accident caused by another driver this season, the vehicular accident lawyers at Wagner Reese are happy to answer any concerns or questions you might have about seeking a legal solution.

If you would like legal advice on a winter driving accident, call us at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation. You can also share additional details with us by submitting our online form.