It is virtually impossible to drive in the Lake Charles area without encountering at least one bridge or overpass. Now that autumn is turning into winter, the Louisiana Department of Transportation is warning drivers to exercise additional caution when driving on them.
Indeed, according to the LDOT, bridges and overpasses can be treacherous for motorists. If you must drive during inclement weather, you should understand why bridges and overpasses become more dangerous in the winter and take steps to stay safe.
No natural insulation
Most stretches of roadway sit on the ground, giving them a natural layer of insulation beneath their surfaces. Even when air temperatures are near or below freezing, the ground keeps road surfaces comparatively warm.
That is not the case with bridges and overpasses, however. Rather than having natural insulation beneath their surfaces, overpasses and bridges allow for the free flow of air all around them. This means bridges and overpasses can be icy even when the rest of the road is fine.
When vehicles drive on icy overpasses and bridges, their tires can easily lose traction. With diminished traction, vehicles can take longer to stop. Their drivers also may lose control when accelerating, decelerating, changing lanes or making other maneuvers.
To stay safe on an icy bridge or overpass, it is advisable to take your foot off the accelerator and maintain a straight path. If you must brake, you should do so slowly. Moreover, it is advisable to increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of it.
Even if you implement a safety strategy, other drivers may not be so careful when they are on icy bridges or overpasses. Ultimately, though, you may have grounds to pursue financial compensation for any injuries you suffer in a collision on an icy roadway.