Why Bridges Are So Dangerous in Winter

Why Bridges Are So Dangerous in WinterWinter is the most dangerous season for drivers, pedestrians, and truckers because unpredictable weather leads to accidents and injuries. Everyone must adjust their routines and habits to stay safe during the winter. Icy bridges are a significant concern because when there is rain or moisture and cold, the bridges can freeze and become icy.

There are seven bridges near Kennewick, and during the winter, they get full of ice and snow. The most famous bridge connects Pasco and Kennewick. It is a cable bridge constructed of prestressed concrete with lights illuminating the night. The bridge also serves as a marathon track for several events throughout the year. Along the bridge, there are also areas where pedestrians look out on the river. The other major bridges consist of the following:

  • The Blue Bridge
  • Interstate 182 Bridge
  • S. Highway 12 Bridge
  • Three railroad bridges

While these bridges have different functions and features, they are also dangerous during the winter. Bridges are hollow underneath; they have no way to trap heat inside. The materials these bridges are made of are not conducive to retaining heat. Bridges are more dangerous during the early morning hours or when temperatures are below 32 degrees. Icy bridge accidents are unpredictable, and you should speak with a Kennewick accident lawyer to discuss your options if you are injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident.

Visibility is low on bridges

Icy bridges surprise Washington drivers because they typically do not reduce their speed or see the ice on the road. Instead of slowing down during the winter, drivers proceed at the same speeds. Bridges also have black ice, which forms in rain, snow, or wind. It gets the name black ice because it appears black, although it is not.

When there is rain or snow, visibility is also lower for drivers. You cannot see what is in front of you or in the general vicinity, which can result in driving over ice and crashing into another vehicle. While we admit bridges are dangerous, that doesn't mean you should avoid them. There are ways you can safely cross when there is ice and snow.

Why truck accidents may be more likely than car accidents on bridges

Passenger vehicles are just some of the cars using bridges in the area. Tractor trailers transporting goods to consumers also share the road, and they are more dangerous than cars. They require longer stopping distances and must take additional precautions when on an icy bridge. A truck accident can happen near a bridge when a trucker chooses to get on or off the bridge. Trucking companies should refrain from pressuring drivers to meet deadlines during the winter and must promote safety, which is, sadly, rarely the case.

Liability in truck accidents on bridges

Drivers cannot control the weather, and when you are in an icy bridge accident, you might not think there is any way to take legal action, but there is. Drivers and truckers can control their driving, such as speed, braking, and more. When a driver is negligent, they can be held liable for an accident. Several parties can be liable for your injuries and losses when a negligent truck driver is to blame. The truck driver was the cause of the accident, but their employer is responsible for their actions. You can also hold the following party accountable for an icy road truck accident:

  • Maintenance company
  • Truck owners
  • The broker of the shipment
  • Trucking companies
  • Defective parts manufacturers
  • Government agencies
  • An entity that sells alcohol
  • Other motorists

Each truck accident has unique challenges, and you need a Kennewick truck accident lawyer to investigate your accident and determine who is liable for your injuries and losses. Once we determine who is responsible for the accident, we can begin an insurance claim and get you compensation for your losses resulting from the accident, or file a lawsuit against the negligent parties if a settlement is not in your best interest. You can obtain compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and more. Securing compensation from a truck company is challenging because they will try to blame other parties so they do not have to pay you.

Safety tips for driving over bridges in winter

While icy bridges can catch drivers off guard, there are some driving habits you can alter to safely get across, regardless of the vehicle you are using. Drivers must pay attention to the weather forecast, as any temperature below freezing can lead to ice on bridges. Additionally, you can also have ice form on your windshield. Another tip is to slow down when you get near a bridge which allows you to keep control of your vehicle. You must never exit your vehicle on an icy bridge as you are in danger of being run over by another car.

While on the bridge, stay in your lane and avoid braking, changing lanes, or accelerating. These movements can lead to your car spinning out of control and sliding around the bridge; even when you follow safety tips, other drivers may not, and an accident can occur. When an icy bridge accident happens, stay calm, try to regain control of your vehicle, and stay alert. You must also call an experienced Kennewick car accident lawyer.

Many factors determine who is liable for an accident and what actions you can take. An indication that a nearby bridge is likely frozen is if there are slick roads with ice and snow in the area. If a local road has ice, so will the bridge you will travel on. When you are in a truck accident on a bridge, it is a harrowing experience, and the aftermath is confusing. Call Telaré Law or complete our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation at our Richland or Kennewick office today. We also serve clients throughout Pasco, Walla Walla, and the Tri-Cities.