Skip to main content
bridge toll fees

The Ben Franklin Bridge, a symbol of Philadelphia’s spirit, connects people and places. But for some drivers, the thought of navigating its height and traffic can trigger anxiety.

Does the idea of crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge make your palms sweat and heart race?

You’re not alone. Many drivers experience anxiety on bridges, especially high ones with open sides. But fear not, there are ways to manage your anxiety and make your bridge crossing a smooth experience!

Here are some tips to help you conquer bridge anxiety behind the wheel:

  • Plan Your Approach:
    • Choose a time with lighter traffic, like early mornings or evenings.
    • Familiarize yourself with the bridge layout beforehand using online maps or street views.
    • Consider alternative routes if your anxiety is severe and exploring options helps you feel prepared.
  • Focus on the Road Ahead:
    • Maintain a safe following distance and focus your attention on the road markings and traffic flow.
    • Avoid looking down at the sides of the bridge or the water below.
  • Practice Relaxation Techniques:
    • Before you start your drive, engage in calming techniques like deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation.
    • Listening to calming music or podcasts can also help distract you from anxious thoughts.
  • Take Control of the Environment:
    • Ensure proper ventilation by opening a window if weather permits.
    • Maintain a comfortable temperature inside the car to avoid feeling claustrophobic.
  • Gradual Exposure:
    • If comfortable, start by driving over smaller bridges and gradually progress to the Ben Franklin Bridge.
    • Celebrate each successful crossing as a step towards overcoming your anxiety.
  • Seek Professional Help:
    • For more persistent anxiety, consider seeking help from a therapist who specializes in anxiety disorders.
    • Techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be incredibly effective in managing driving anxiety.

Remember: Bridge anxiety is a common fear. Be patient with yourself and focus on progress, not perfection.

Bonus Tip: If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed while crossing, safely pull over to the side of the road and take a moment to practice your relaxation techniques. Focus on calming your breath and regaining a sense of control before continuing.

Don’t let bridge anxiety hold you back from exploring all that Philadelphia has to offer! With a little preparation and the right tools, you can navigate the Ben Franklin Bridge with confidence.