A woman driving a 1997 Honda was driving through a tollbooth’s E-Pass lane on State Road 408 on June 21, 2007, when an 18-wheeler Orange County trash truck carrying 80,000 pounds of garbage struck her. The Orlando Sentinel reported that police issued no citations, but Orange County did agree to pay nearly $3,000 to compensate the accident victim for neck injuries and damage to her car.
Until new tollbooths were designed and installed on Florida’s toll roads, trucking accidents such as this were much more common and likely to result in severe injuries or fatalities. The rising popularity of electronic transponders that debit a driver’s account instead of making each motorist stop and pay a toll is the biggest factor in reducing trucking and auto accidents. Before transponders, hundreds of tollbooth accidents in Orange County resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage to tollbooths and cars, as well as many injuries.
A review of traffic accident records in Orange County toll roads discovered a 37 percent drop in injuries from 2005 to 2008 as the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority replaced older tollbooths with newer models and open-road tolling lanes. The agency’s records indicate a 61 percent decline in tollbooth crashes over the same period.
The Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority owned the truck that crashed into the 1997 Honda. The manager of the Expressway Authority said that attempting to drive one of their loaded trucks through the old tollbooths and back into traffic was a difficult endeavor.
“We’re really pleased with the new system. It really helps our drivers,” he said. “And I like them [the lanes], too.”
Research by the Expressway Authority on tollbooth accidents revealed more than 200 vehicle accidents each year in its tollbooths between 2001 and 2005. The tollbooth accidents reached their peak in 2003 when the Expressway Authority recorded 303 tollbooth crashes. That number dropped to 71 in 2007, but rose to 118 tollbooth auto accidents in 2008.
While Florida’s toll roads are safer, tollbooth auto accidents still occur and accidents involving compact cars and big rigs weighing many tens of thousands of pounds often results in death or life-changing injuries for the driver and occupants of the car. Orlando auto accident lawyer James O. Cunningham is a dedicated Central Florida personal injury attorney with more than three decades of experience helping people injured in auto accidents. If you or someone you care for has been injured in an auto accident, call the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham today to schedule a free consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).
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