A large portion of Tampa Bay’s area is made up of water, so there is inherently an abundance of bridges in this region; the four longest bridges total over 15 miles. While Driving over them is beautiful it can also create a driving environment that is more prone to crashes due to the unavoidable narrow design. Hillsborough County officials state speeding is a major cause of car accidents, and the longer bridges allow for unsafe speeds. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in 2015 almost 300 accidents involved a bridge structure, not including accidents with other vehicles on bridges. In 2015, there were over 19,000 accidents on interstate highways, which includes accidents on the Howard Frankland bridge (I-275).
An accident that may be avoided on a regular road is many times unavoidable on a bridge due to the space constraints of the bridge. It is especially important to drive defensively on bridges. Use your brakes to alert vehicles behind you, when the car ahead of you uses their brakes, maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you and drive on the right while cars pass on the left. Obviously, all distractions should be avoided, such as text messaging and web browsing, while driving as distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents.
Defensive driving will reduce your chances of getting into an accident; however, sometimes there is no way to avoid the accident. If this happens on a Tampa Bay bridge, it is important to turn on your hazard lights, move your car onto an emergency lane, if a lane is available and your car is operational; stay in your car if there is no immediate danger. Call the police, and do not exit the vehicle until the emergency responders clear a safe area and give you the “green light”. If you are able to take pictures from inside your car of the other vehicle(s) and the accident scene while waiting for the emergency responders, do so.
While you wait for the emergency responders to arrive, it’s important to know your car is in the safest place to be, as exiting the vehicle on a bridge will make you vulnerable to another accident. Once it is safe to exit the vehicle, take pictures of the accident, this includes, pictures of your vehicle, any other vehicles involved, the roadway itself and any individuals involved in the accident. Exchange insurance information with the other driver(s). Be careful of any statements you make at the accident scene as those statements can be used by the other driver and their insurance company later on in the case. Make note of any statements made by the other driver. Make note of any passengers in the vehicles and where everyone was sitting. Make note if you are able to tell if the other driver was distracting by anything such as using a cell phone at the time of the accident. Call your lawyer before providing the insurance agency with a statement. You can and should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. However, ask them to allow you to call them back for any recorded statement they may want to take. If you have had a recent automobile accident on a Tampa Bay bridge, feel free to call Franco Law at (813) 873-0180 for a free no-obligation consultation regarding your legal rights.
All Female Legal Team
Christine Franco and her experienced personal injury team have been practicing law in Tampa, Florida since 1997. Franco Law Group represents only the injured and disabled. Our firm consists of personal injury lawyers, case managers, paralegals, and assistants that are all committed to managing your case efficiently and to protecting your legal rights. Christine Franco, Esq. has been practicing law ever since she received her J.D. from Stetson College of Law in 1995. Megan Williams, a social security attorney at our firm, received her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law.
This Law Firm represented me in my social security disability case and they did awesome they make me feel like a human being not a number they were there for me anytime I needed them they never blew me off or talk down to me they always treated me with respect that I gave them if I ever need an attorney again and it's something they do they will be the first ones I call
I found Christine Franco to be a very professional, thoughtful, attentive attorney. She is very thorough and extremely patient explaining everything to me. She has taken care of five cases for my family and all with outstanding results. Her staff have been with her for quite some time and are always helpful as well. Tammy Baldwin is super to work with as well. I would not give it a second thought to use Franco Law Group for all your needs.
I highly recommend Franco Law Group. If you are looking for a professional friendly knowledgeable law group, Franco is it. Megan Williams is a great attorney with great communication skills and very detail-driven.