Dangers of Florida Toll Roads

June 7, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Dangers of Florida Toll Roads

Toll Roads Can Present a Safety Hazard to Drivers

Florida's Turnpike has been a feature in the Sunshine State since 1957. The goal was to reduce traffic congestion by providing an option for drivers willing to pay for the service. While the network of toll roads has expanded to cover over 700 miles, it has also created an opportunity for an increase in serious car accidents. Most drivers don't encounter toll roads on a regular basis, which can lead them to make sudden stops and lane changes or become confused about how to pay for the toll. This can lead to erratic and distracted driving, most often resulting in rear-end collisions. At Dolman Law Group, we often aid car accident victims who express their frustration after another driver's negligence has created a traumatic and emotional situation that they are now forced to deal with. We help our clients determine fault in an accident so that they can begin the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit and adjusting to a new normal.

Understanding the Risks of Florida Toll Roads

Car accidents are more likely to occur when drivers are navigating unfamiliar areas or traffic patterns, such as toll roads. Each summer, this happens when tourists descend on Florida for its theme parks and sandy beaches. Toll roads can present an unusual set of circumstances that may make drivers more prone to accidents, especially for newer drivers.

Toll Booths Present Dangerous Physical Barriers in Toll Road Accidents

Toll booths can present unique obstacles, especially to drivers impaired by distractions, inebriation, or even drowsiness. These issues can significantly increase the chance of a collision with the toll due to their ability to impair judgment, motor function, and perception. If you swerve in the middle of a normal highway, you may hit another car or guardrail; if you swerve on a toll road, you might hit a concrete barricade head-on. Serious accidents, like this 2018 toll booth crash, can leave victims with traumatic brain injuries, neck and back injuries, and other long-term conditions.

Weather and Road Conditions Can Contribute to Toll Road Accidents

In addition to the toll roads themselves, inclement weather can create a safety hazard for drivers. The frequent thunderstorms of Florida summers can result in a flooded highway littered with debris, making the road dangerous. State and local governments have an obligation to maintain safe roadways, and failure to do so may leave them vulnerable to lawsuits alleging negligence. Newer toll roads may still be under construction, or be more subject to accidents because drivers don't expect to have to deal with a toll road. This can lead to a dangerous habit called rubbernecking. Rubbernecking causes accidents when drivers become distracted by events happening outside the car, like a wrecked car being towed away. Work crews conducting repairs or installing additions to toll booths may also provide a source of distraction.

Confusion Over Toll Road Procedure Can Cause Drivers to Behave Recklessly, Resulting in an Accident

Imagine you've traveled to Florida on vacation to take your family to Disney. After a weekend at the parks, you decide to save time by taking a toll road. You realize that you left your SunPass at the hotel, and you start digging for your wallet. To avoid the fine, you switch lanes last minute to get into the “cash only” lane. While your eyes were distracted, the car in the “cash only” lane slowed down to get a better look at the toll lane directions. You react by slamming on the brakes, but it's too late; you end up rear-ending them. The person behind you wasn't anticipating your last-minute merge or your sudden stop, and they crash into your car. Now, your family vacation has been derailed by a complicated multi-vehicle crash.

Last Minute Merging and Distracted Driving Can Lead to Toll Road Accidents

Toll roads have several payment options, which can be confusing to new toll road users. Drivers may struggle to read the informational signs from a distance, leading them to stop suddenly or delay their lane change until the last second to avoid driving through the wrong lane. Distracted driving is another common factor in Florida toll road accidents. The combination of novelty and engagement that toll roads require lends itself to an unusual brand of distracted driving, as drivers have to navigate lane changes at high speeds while having the appropriate form of payment ready. Toll roads are not immune to the ills of texting while driving, reckless speeding, or drunk driving. Large obstacles in the form of tool booths and confused drivers create a recipe for a disastrous or fatal crash. Figuring out who is liable in a lawsuit may prove more complex than simply showing Breathalyzer results, which is why you should consult an attorney before filing a claim.

Who is Liable in a Toll Road Accident Lawsuit?

A toll road accident may leave you understandably rattled and looking to hold someone accountable for damage to your car, lost wages, or staggering medical bills. Depending on the root cause of the accident, the other driver may be at fault or share blame with another party, like the government or their contractors. A negligent driver's failure to respect the rules of the road or the safety of their fellow motorists can be held accountable in a personal injury case where you may seek compensation for the damages you have incurred as a result of their actions. However, the condition of the road and the state of the toll booth may also be a factor in your case. For example, if a large pothole blew out your tire and caused a crash, or a piece of an improperly constructed toll booth fell and broke your windshield, you may be eligible for reimbursement in a lawsuit. Determining liability in a toll road accident can be complicated, which is why you should seek out an expert personal injury attorney for advice.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me Recover Damages After an Accident on a Florida Toll Road?

A car accident can completely disrupt your life. Your primary mode of transportation may be totaled, your ability to perform your job compromised, and your finances in tatters from costly medical bills. You may be eligible to recover a variety of damages in a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury attorney will help you determine if a chain of causation can be established, linking the act of negligence to your injuries. We can recommend damages you may not even realize you qualified for, like pain and suffering or loss of earning potential following a debilitating injury. While you focus on your recovery, Dolman Law Group will review your evidence, use our considerable resources to provide experts to validate your claims, represent you in settlement negotiations, and craft a convincing case to secure you the damages you deserve.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Toll Road Accident Lawsuit

The lawyers of Dolman Law Group have counseled many clients through car accident lawsuits, deftly anticipating insurance companies' tactics to minimize their payout and fighting to ensure your rights are respected.  We have a reputation for excellence built on years of experience that has been recognized by our clients throughout Florida. We understand how overwhelming the prospect of filing a lawsuit can be, especially when you're trying to physically and financially recover from an unexpected accident. Dolman Law Group will support you through every step of the claims process, handling your case with care. The car accident lawyers of Dolman Law Group are skilled negotiators who are ready to face off against the big insurance companies so you don't have to go it alone. We'll start with a free first consultation and end with securing you the damages you deserve. Contact our offices at (727) 451-6900. You can also send us an email on our contact us page.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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