Report: Nation’s Collapsed Bridges Save Hundreds Of Americans From Jumping Off Them Annually

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ARLINGTON, VA—Shedding light on the impact of the country’s poorly maintained infrastructure, a report published Monday by the American Transportation Research Institute found that the nation’s collapsed bridges saved hundreds of people from jumping off them annually. “Each year, the widespread degradation of bridges extends the lives of an estimated 850 Americans who, if those structures were still standing, would have flung themselves to their deaths in a moment of despair,” read the report, which cites data confirming that a lack of adequate bridge maintenance was the most reliable form of suicide prevention available in the United States. “Across the country, there are millions of motorists and pedestrians deeply unsatisfied with their lives and unable to see a way out. Every time we repair a bridge and prevent it from falling down, we increase the chances one of those people will choose to kill themselves by plummeting into the icy waters that run below it. However, even when suicide is attempted from one of the 617,000 bridges still standing in America, it usually fails, either because the structure is in such bad shape that no one can walk across it without twisting an ankle, or because the adjoining roads are too badly damaged for a person to reach the bridge in the first place.” The reports ends with a plea for the nation to invest in a humane, accessible mental health care system before it invests in bridges.