The rainy season has arrived in much of the United States, and as always the highways of America have become more dangerous. Many people struggle to drive safely in the rain. But other drivers aren’t the only potential danger that comes from driving in bad weather. Bridges, which drivers rely upon to carry them safely over waterways and ditches, are often undermined by the elements.
Washed out bridges are the most common consequence of heavy precipitation, but rain isn’t the only type of weather that can destabilize a bridge, leading to collapse. A variety of climate conditions can contribute to these types of devastating accidents, which is why states and cities must be attentive to proper maintenance. Possible weather effects that can lead to bridge collapse include:
- Heavy rains and flooding, which can wash away support structures or wear away the earth around footers that secure the bridge properly in place
- Extreme cold combined with moisture; the moisture can get into the smallest crack and freeze, slowly destroying the bridge from within
- Tornadoes, which can hurl debris at bridges, causing damage that destabilizes the bridge for future use
Bridge collapses are terrible tragedies, which often result in serious injuries and even death. All too often when these incidents occur, the cause was a slow accumulation of damage and neglect. If the damage had been properly repaired, the collapse would never have happened.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bridge collapse, it is important you contact an experienced lawyer. A full investigation must be undertaken, and allowing the city or state (who have a vested interest in the conclusion) to perform that investigation without oversight could prevent the truth from ever coming out.