Bridges are brilliantly convenient for commuters across the world, yet they can also be fraught with safety hazards that aren’t found on other highways and byways.
If you live in New Jersey, or you’re going to be driving through it soon, some of the state’s bridges need to be on your radar due to the risks they pose to motorists. Let’s look at what you need to know about them, and how to cross them in one piece.
Table of Contents
Troublesome and Trepidatious Paths: New Jersey’s Most Hazardous Bridges
New Jersey is home to a network of bridges that are vital connections for residents and visitors alike. These bridges range from the grandeur of the iconic George Washington Bridge to smaller crossings such as the Goethals Bridge.
However, some have earned reputations as being quite perilous. Especially during rush hour or adverse weather conditions, navigating these structures can pose significant challenges for drivers.
Take Pulaski Skyway in Jersey City for instance. Its narrow lanes and lack of shoulders make it notoriously tricky to drive on, and has led to terrible accidents in the past.
Meanwhile, thick fog makes crossing the Outerbridge in Perth Amboy equally daunting. From structurally deficient spans such as Newark Bay Bridge which has constant repairs underway, recognizing these dangerous routes is essential for everyone venturing onto NJ’s roads.
Essential Safety Tips for Dodging Danger
When you encounter some of the state’s more treacherous bridges, a few key safety measures can go a long way in keeping you out of harm’s way.
- Stay Alert: Given busy traffic patterns and varying bridge conditions (think Outerbridge Crossing or Newark Bay Bridge), it’s crucial to be attentive while driving on NJ bridges.
- Follow Traffic Laws: Adhering strictly to speed limits and road signage is particularly important when navigating narrow lanes like those on Pulaski Skyway.
- Prepare for Weather Conditions: Inclement weather often makes driving over bridges riskier, especially in the winter. Keep an eye on forecasts so that you are not caught unawares by storms or fog during your journey. If you do encounter limited visibility, adjust your speed accordingly, leaving plenty of room between you and the driver in front to account for sudden stops, or unexpected obstructions.
- Regular Vehicle Maintenance: Check tire pressure, brakes, and lights before any long commute on bridges such as the Goethals Bridge, which has been associated with many accidents in the past due to automotive technical failures.
Even if we can’t change how these dangerous routes were designed originally, understanding how best to navigate them is within our control.
What to do if Things Go South
There’s no telling when an unexpected situation might arise while you’re crossing one of New Jersey’s more perilous bridges. Here are some pointers on what to do during certain emergency situations:
- Traffic Tickets: If you receive a reprimand from the authorities while behind the wheel on an NJ crossing, get in touch with a traffic ticket lawyer as soon as possible to clear up this incident and secure the best outcome.
- Breakdowns: If your car experiences issues while you’re traversing problematic stretches, immediately turn on your hazard lights and try to steer towards the side of the road (if possible). Notify roadside assistance as soon as it is safe.
- Accidents: After arranging vehicles in a manner that minimizes further risks, call 911 for any accident regardless of size or injuries involved. Each bridge has its own patrol team ready to respond.
- Dangerous Weather Conditions: Strong winds or dense fog can make driving risky. It’s best to pull over at the first exit before the crossing in question until conditions improve.
Most importantly, keep in mind that staying calm enables better decision-making when you’re driving, especially on journeys that involve features of the road that you are not familiar with. If you are not especially confident behind the wheel, reviewing any route involving a bridge thoroughly before your journey will help minimize nerves.