Bridge strikes have continued to be a problem for drivers of larger rigs, particularly if their managers fail to use route optimization software that takes into account which overpasses big trucks can safely clear. These events are dangerous, but they can end up being very costly. Not only can a driver damage the rig he or she is operating and sustain injuries from the collision, flying debris can also impair the vision of other drivers on the road and put their vehicles - and lives - at risk.
Strikes a significant issue
This problem has been of particular concern in Indianapolis, where as many as 70 trucks have collided with the Virginia Avenue Bridge in recent years. According to Central Indiana CBS-affiliate WISH, the bridge was recently struck seven times in a single day, highlighting how serious of a problem this has become.
But it's not only the Virginia Avenue Bridge that has been hit frequently - the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has recorded more than 400 bridge strikes within the area since 1999, the most serious of which occurred just several months ago and resulted in a weekend-long closure of the Virginia Avenue overpass.
"More than 400 collisions have been recorded at seven city street bridges over the I-65/I-70 'South Split' since 1999, and the frequency and severity of vehicle-bridge strikes has increased in recent years," said Nathan Riggs, the spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation's Greenfield District, according to CNBC.
As a result, the state is already in the process of preventing future collisions. Officials have released a plan to lower the roadway beneath some frequently hit bridges to ensure more vehicles are able to pass through safely. The project will increase the vertical clearance at seven local bridges to at least 14 feet 9 inches, reducing the risk of future strikes.
Avoiding collisions key
Even though multiple bridges in Indianapolis will soon have higher vertical clearance, that doesn't reduce a management team's responsibility to ensure drivers are taking the most direct route that will accommodate their vehicles. By employing the use of route planning software, managers can not only spend less time scheduling pickups and deliveries, but also rest assured their drivers will stay on roads that are designed to support larger rigs.