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Every day it is estimated that on average around ten vehicles will be in collision with a bridge on the UK's roads

Some of these collisions are minor vehicle damage with just scratched paintwork, but others can cause major structural damage and even lead to a loss of life.

It is an offence not to report bridge strike, it is classed as a road collision.

If you are going to be driving a high vehicle, before each journey you should know your vehicles height both laden and unladen, it should be measured, there should also be a notice in the cab telling you this.

Trailers may be higher than the tractor, so be sure you know their height too. Always plan your journey to avoid low bridges that you can not safely pass under. Bridges lower than 16'3" should be marked on maps.

Bridges will usually have height indicators attached or warning signs indicating the safe clearance height.

Network rail has many of its bridges involved in accidents. This can endanger the safety of railway users if the rails are moved with the risk of derailments.

With this in mind they have produced two good practice booklets to raise awareness with drivers and managers of the risks and consequences of bridge collisions, 'The guide for professional drivers' and 'The guide for freight transport managers'.

Sometimes bridge strikes are caused by unsecured loads that may have shifted after the journey commenced. The Department for Transport has a code of practice for the safety of loads on vehicles. Often in bridge collisions the vehicle may shed it's load or even overturn, which can lead to vehicle occupant injuries, pedestrian injuries or other vehicles becoming involved in road accidents caused by the collision, in bad cases even fatalities.

Drivers and their companies may be liable to prosecution if they are involved in bridge strikes for road traffic offences.



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