SANDY POINT, Md. (WUSA9/AP) - AAA Mid-Atlantic is calling for a federal investigation into the safety of barriers on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge after a crash sent a car off the bridge and into the water below last week.
In a letter to the National Transportation Safety Board on Monday, the motorclub called on the agency to investigate the crash.
In the letter, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Lon Anderson says the crash raises questions about whether the bridge's restraint system failed, whether it met federal specification or if those specifications may not be adequate for this kind of crash.
The Maryland Transportation Authority says engineers found no structural damage from this crash at the scene. Authority police and Maryland State Police are investigating the crash and the authority says it welcomes NTSB involvement and insight.
AAA Mid-Atlantic also released a list of tips, compiled from first repsonders and the National Safety Commission, for people if their car plunges into the water:
• Don't panic. Once your car hits the water it will not sink immediately (You will have at least one or two minutes before the car begins to sink, safety experts say).
• If possible, jump out while car is on surface.
• If your car is still floating, roll down the window and unbuckle your seat belt to escape.
• If your car is submerged, safety experts suggest remaining buckled up while you break the driver or passenger's side window to escape.
• Allow the pressure of the water to equalize inside the sodden vehicle before attempting to open the doors or windows. Water weighs 62.4 lbs. per cubic foot.
• Move toward rear of vehicle where the air bubble is forming.
• Water pressure against the water-logged doors will make opening the doors very difficult until the pressure inside of the vehicle and outside of the vehicle are equal.
• Open your windows to allow yourself and your passengers to escape (Contrary to popular opinion, the "power windows won't stop working within seconds after impact." The power can stay on as along as 10 minutes).