A roundabout, as the name suggests, is a circular intersection around which the traffic flows. But unlike a regular intersection, the roundabout does not have a stop sign. The purpose of a roundabout is to ease traffic congestion by enabling vehicles to flow freely and smoothly through a singular point. Roundabouts over the years have become increasingly popular in the United States. However, many drivers are still unfamiliar with them, which results in roundabout accidents.
You should choose a knowledgeable car accident attorney to represent you if you have been injured in a roundabout auto crash due to another’s negligence.
Why do Roundabout Car Accidents Occur?
In general, roundabouts are safer than intersections that are controlled by stop signs and traffic signals. With that said, this doesn’t mean that they eliminate vehicular accidents completely. Car crashes still occur on roundabouts. They are almost always because of the fault of a reckless driver or an inexperienced one.
These are a few common reasons for roundabout accidents to occur:
Most roundabout accidents are because of drivers that negligently or recklessly exceed the speed limit. It’s fundamental to understand that multiple cars maneuver through several lanes in roundabouts. Speeding cars may be able to respond to land changes made by other drivers, causing an accident.
The majority of drivers are unfamiliar with or confused regarding roundabouts and their rules. Unfamiliar or lost drivers may enter a neighborhood they did not mean to. They may try to reverse. It is easy for drivers to quickly become confused and realize that they are supposed to navigate the circular roadway instead of driving right off the road.
- Stopped cars
Many roundabout accidents occur because drivers suddenly stop their vehicles right in the middle of the roadway. They may do this because they don’t want to miss their turn. Roundabouts are meant to allow the smooth and continuous flow of traffic. It’s supposed to work like clockwork unless a motorist interrupts the flow of traffic. An accident can be easily caused by stopping at a roundabout. This is particularly true for rear-end collisions.
- Not yielding
Motorists are supposed to yield to cars already inside the circle when attempting to circle counterclockwise. It is dangerous to not yield to these vehicles. You should not cut off the cars as well since that could again result in a collision.
Avoid Lane Switching
You don’t need to switch lanes when driving in a multi-lane roundabout unless you want to take an exit. Drivers that are unfamiliar or confused with multi-lane roundabouts routinely find that they are not in the correct lane. Instead of plowing your way through traffic, you should take your time and go around the circle again. This way you would be able to exit in a safe and proper manner.
Drivers that attempt to shift lanes by swerving abruptly into the next lane risk a roundabout crash. You need to be aware of big rigs in your immediate vicinity as well. Large trucks require more room to navigate. They cannot take turns nimbly. Drivers of these trucks may attempt at taking an exit from the second closest lane. You should be patient and allow them the space they require. Impatience only invites a collision.
Your first step should be to ensure that all vehicle occupants are safe and not injured seriously if you are involved in an accident. You should call the police next if you notice significant damage to your car. You should also speak with a trusted attorney immediately after the accident. Your attorney will be able to gather the necessary evidence and prevent you from saying something that may be misconstrued and used against you.
Roundabout Car Accident Statistics
People are always wary of things that they are not familiar with. It is natural for motorists to be nervous and consider roundabouts a safety risk. In reality, roundabouts don’t increase the risk of car accidents. In fact, many municipalities are encouraging city planners to add roundabout intersections because of their safety benefits.
Several studies are cited by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) regarding the benefits of roundabouts. According to one study, injury crashes were lowered by 72-80% when intersections were converted to roundabouts from stop signs or traffic signals. The same intersections also saw a reduction of 35-47% in overall crashes.
Another study estimated that 51,000 vehicular crashes can be prevented in a single year by converting just 10% of the nation’s signal-controlled intersections to traffic circles or roundabouts. The move can also prevent 231 fatal crashes and 34,000 injury crashes.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
It is recommended that you speak with a proven car accident attorney about your legal options if you or a loved one was injured in a roundabout accident. It takes the expertise of a knowledgeable attorney to prove fault in such crashes. The capable attorneys at Whibbs Stone Barnett have the necessary experience, knowledge, and resources to help you build a strong claim. Give us a call at 850-500-1111 or 850-434-5395 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.