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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is one of the most fascinating structures in our area and is often mentioned as one of the “modern wonders of the world.” For those of us who live in this area of Virginia (VA), crossing the 23-mile long bridge-tunnel may be a fairly common occurrence. That said, crossing the bridge and finding yourself in a car surrounded by miles of water can be a daunting and even frightening experience.

Recent news of an accident on the bridge-tunnel serves as an important reminder to us all to use caution when driving across this amazing feat of engineering. Not too long ago, in an early morning drive, the driver of an SUV drove off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. According to the news report, this was the first incident of a car plunging off the bridge-tunnel in five years. It resulted in a several hours’ long search by boat, air and underwater, which culminated in the recovery of both the vehicle and the victim. These types of tragic accidents are rare on the bridge-tunnel. Since the north- and southbound lanes of traffic were separated in 1999, only three vehicles have actually gone over the side of the bridge.

Nonetheless, to keep you and your passengers safe while driving across the bridge, there are some important things to keep in mind. First, crossing the bridge-tunnel can present unique challenges to a driver including narrow lanes which can become congested, altered visibility due to weather conditions, effects of high winds on vehicle movement, and transitions in and out of the tunnels. Keeping these unique conditions in mind, and staying particularly vigilant while on the bridge, can help all of us make sure that crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a safe trip.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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