When it comes to the scariest roadways in America, we tend to think of the windy coastal overhangs of California’s Pacific Coast Highway, or the precarious twists and turns of Appalachia’s Blue Ridge Parkway, but it’s not often that we hear about bridges being particularly frightening.
Sure, the towering Golden Gate and the sky-high Brooklyn Bridge may make some sweat, but it’s none other than the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland that seems to be on the lips of every East Coast road tripper this summer.
Why this bridge scares so many motorists
What makes crossing this bridge such a nail-biting endeavor for some is the fact that it stands at a mind-boggling 200-ft. tall in its highest parts!
Sure, that may not be THAT tall compared to the 900-ft. Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge at the Nevada-Arizona border, but the 4.3-mile journey over open water makes the giant feel much, much taller.
Aside from the height, the bridge has ultra-low barricades that just perfectly measure up to the drivers-side window, giving it the illusion that you are driving high over the water with no safety net to catch you!
On top of that, the bridge comes equipped with few emergency pull-offs, which can lead to deadly situations— like what happened in February of this year.
While traveling on the bridge during a storm, a semi-truck was blown over the side and into the water below, killing the driver. At the time, there were no weather-related restrictions preventing the truck from crossing the bridge.
As a matter of fact, since its opening in 1964, a whopping 10 people have lost their lives by being either swept off by bad weather or pushed off by a nasty accident. Yikes!
What can be done to help
With stories like that, it’s no wonder why many motorists have hang-ups when it comes to crossing the behemoth. Because of this widespread fear, there is actually an intrepid business owner who has managed to make a living by simply getting these scared folks to the other side.
In an interview with Inside Edition, the owner of Bay Bridge Drive-Overs, a company whose clientele is chock-full of people who do not want to drive over the bridge themselves, explains that he ends up making at least 25 trips over the bridge per day. Talk about a booming business!
So, what’s the key to crossing the bridge, anxiety-free? Well, according to the crafty business-owner, it’s simple—just don’t TALK about the bridge. Sounds easy enough.
To hear from a woman who suffered a panic attack while crossing the infamous Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and lived to tell the tale, be sure to click on Inside Edition’s video below. Who knew that an ordinary-looking bridge could cause so much stress?!
Now that you know all about this notorious motorway, we want to hear from you. Have you ever driven over this bridge? If so, did the ride make you nervous? How do you control your fear of heights?