The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

New York Needs To Find Out Why Its Drivers Keep Hitting Low Bridges

Senators in New York will launch an inquiry into the state’s low bridges, including a bridge over the Onondaga Lake Parkway that killed four

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
This low bridge in upstate New York has caught out countless drivers.
Gif: ABC News

We’ve all seen the videos of what happens when a truck, trailer or bus has a run in with a low bridge; they’re the bread and butter of automotive disaster coverage. But senators in New York have decided enough is enough, and they’re looking to uncover the reason drivers in the state keep hitting its bridges.

Lawmakers in New York this week passed a bill that calls for a study into just what is wrong with the state, its bridges and the drivers that pass under them to keep causing such collisions. Apparently, the report will look into solutions like raising bridges, lowering roads and even, shockingly, correctly signposting the height of such crossings.


“New York is an old state and may have the most low bridges in the country,” said Senator John W Mannion in a statement. “ Whether it is raising the bridge, lowering the road, or adding signs and signals that work, we need an informed strategy with an understanding of associated costs if we are going to properly address the ongoing problem of vehicles hitting low bridges – this bill accomplishes those objectives and is a major step forward.”

According to The New York State Senate, the issue drivers are facing across the state stems from the sheer number of bridges that have low height restrictions that are “unknown to operators or owners of large vehicles” until it’s too late. At this point, the driver might have no way to back up and may be forced to chance their hand.


But aside from all the amusing clips of cranes getting stuck under bridges, or the slightly alarming sight of a bus that had its roof ripped off by a bridge, the inquiry was sparked by one particularly nefarious crossing in upstate New York.

On State Route 370, which is known as the Onondaga Lake Parkway, the CSX bridge has caught out countless motorists since it was installed. In its worst incident, four people were killed when a bus hit the bridge in 2010.