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.
I'm very glad that I found Franco Law Group who are very knowledgeable professional and make you feel like family as soon as you walk in thank you to all the staff
Christine Franco and her amazing law firm have handled two personal injury cases and represented me for Social Security disability. Becoming disabled at the age of 24 is not something that's on everyone's list to do. Through these very difficult times I was very blessed to have had this amazing team with me every step of the way. They won all three of my cases. I love how they run and honest office with integrity. They tell you the truth and not what they think you want to hear. I have never met a more humble and sweet attorney. But don't let that fool you she definitely knows what she's doing and she gets things done and is not afraid to take your case to trial if you are entitled to more than what you have been offered. Most attorneys I have met will try to settle at the first offer. I told Christine I trust her 100% because I have seen how she treats everyone with the same respect and honesty so I took her advice with all my cases and I am very happy with the outcome. I have also referred my family and best friends to her because I wouldn't want anyone else representing them. You will be very happy going to The Franco Law Group.
Christine Franco and her staff are very pleasant to work with. I was rear ended by a drunk driver. I reached out to her on a Sunday and she called me back the same day even though she was out of town. She and her office staff are all very professional and down to earth. They are all very understanding and do their utmost to help you through all the steps. Best lawyer experience I've ever had. I hope I never need to use her services again, but If I need her I know she and her staff are there for me.