10:53 AM EDT, June 5, 2013
It may be the scariest bridge in America.
What makes it so terrifying to cross?
First off, it’s really high, nearly 200 feet in spots, and its 4.3 miles long from end to end. For some motorists, getting behind the wheel and driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland is simply out of the question.
Carolyn Casey is so afraid she actually hires a guy to do the driving for her.
She said, “What happened was I suffered major a panic attack. My peripheral vision went black. I thought I was going to pass out into oncoming traffic.”
For $25, Bay Bridge Drive Overs takes Casey in her own car over the bridge.
INSIDE EDITION’s Les Trent went along for the ride. Alex Robinson owns the company and business is booming.
Trent asked, “How many times do you do this?”
Robinson, “Today, this is number 19. So far, yes."
Even in the passenger's seat Casey is still apprehensive. All she can think about are images like the bridge collapse in Minnesota in 2007 or footage of drivers crossing the Bay Bridge in weather that can change on a dime.
Trent asked, "Is it ok how slow we are going across this bridge with all of the traffic?"
She said, "No, it is not. I am sweating."
Trent asked, “What about this bridge?”
She said, “It's functionally obsolete, there are not even any emergency pull offs. Do you really think that's going to keep us from going over?”
And it's not just women using the service. Jay Gaskin has to commute across the bridge every day to get to work. He's a brawny guy who operates heavy equipment but he’s been to psychiatrists to deal with his fear of crossing the bridge.
He said, “They tried to hypnotize me but it does not work whatsoever.”
And he can't get out of his head the image from 1940 of a bridge in Tacoma, Washington literally blowing in the wind and then crashing to the water below.
Robinson says he’s driven across the bridge 10,000 times in four years on behalf of his clients. He sees himself as a therapist and always tries to keep the conversation away from the dreaded bridge.
Casey told Trent, “We don't talk about the bridge, Les!”
Trent then asked, “We just made it over the bridge how do you feel?”
She said, “Better.”