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Personal Injury Blog

Whether it’s an overheated engine, a flat tire, or simply running out of gas, being behind the wheel when your car comes to a surprising stop can be a frightening experience. This scenario becomes even scarier when it happens while crossing a bridge. While we all know to slowly attempt to pull our vehicle to the side of the road using our signals, here is what you should do once you reach safety.

Bridges in Florida

The Sunshine State boasts the eighth longest bridge in the country, the Seven Mile Bridge, which connects the state to a number of its island keys. While that may be Florida’s most famous bridge, even popularized in the movie True Lies, Florida has many more, and ranks 24th in the nation when it comes to its number of bridges. Here’s a look at the ten longest Florida bridges:

Bridge

Location Span

Length (feet)

Year Built

Seven Mile Bridge

Monkey Key Channel

35,716

1938

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Tampa Bay

21,640

1987

St. George Island Bridge

Apalachicola Bay

21,615

2004

Mid-Bay Bridge

Choctawhatchee Bay

19.008

1993

Buckman Bridge

St. Johns River

16,300

1969

Howard Frankland Bridge

Tampa Bay

15,893

1989 (new span)

Pensacola Bay Bridge

Pensacola Bay

15,640

1960

Gandy Bridge

Tampa Bay

13,886

1997 (new span)

Escambia Bridge

Escambia Bay

13,577

1970

Napolean Bonaparte Bridge

St. Johns River

10,646

1989

4 Things to Do if Your Vehicle Breaks Down

1. Make Yourself Visible

Most drivers are able to pull safely to the side of the road on a bridge, even if coasting on fumes or a flat. But, it’s important to make yourself seen, especially with the number of distracted drivers on the road. Putting on your hazard lights is a must, and if you have an orange distress flag on hand, it’s helpful to put that out of your window. The color and waving motion will get the attention of other drivers and avoid an accidental read-end collision. No distress flag? Use something as simple as a napkin or even your T-shirt.

2. Remain in Your Vehicle

Unless there is a lot of room on the side of the bridge, it’s best to stay in your vehicle (and remain buckled up). People exiting their vehicle on a bridge in order to look under the hood or change a flat tire have been known to be struck by passing cars, and there are numerous stories of just such an incident happening.

3. Call for Help

Thankfully, we all have cell phones these days. In the event of a breakdown, call for roadside assistance or the highway patrol right away. They will be there quicker than you may think! In the event that you don’t have your phone handy, you may be able to locate an emergency call box nearby that will direct you to assistance.

4. Be Careful With Strangers

We want to think the best of people, but someone in jeopardy can become the perfect candidate for a criminal’s bad intentions. If another driver stops and offers to help—especially if there is little traffic and it’s nighttime—simply crack the window and say that you’ve called for help (and if you don’t have your phone, ask them to call for you).

Breakdowns, blowouts, and empty gas tanks can catch us off-guard and leaving us unsure of what to do next. By following these simple steps, you can be sure your breakdown doesn’t leave you broken! If you’ve been in an automobile or motorcycle accident following a breakdown and need support, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Lowman Law Firm

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