The roundabout has increasingly been adopted in the United States in the last few decades. However, several drivers are unfamiliar with the rules in terms of these unique intersections. This has resulted in roundabouts becoming a source of vehicular accidents and injuries.
A roundabout is essentially an intersection in which the traffic is directed into a circle with multiple exodus points. The incoming traffic has to yield to the cars that are already present in the circle. These are different from traffic circles since they don’t have any traffic signals.
Common Crashes in Roundabouts
A major benefit of roundabouts is that they prevent high-speed right angle and head-on collisions. This is because all drivers are traveling in the same direction. Stemming from this, unsafe drivers can still cause accidents by engaging in the following practices:
- Speeding: All drivers are meant to reduce speed on approaching a roundabout or while in it. Motorists are meant to yield to the drivers already present in the roundabout. Speeding drivers may not have enough time to slow down.
- Not following lane protocol: It is vital to obey roadside signs for guiding drivers, especially when there is more than one lane in the circle. These signs help drivers understand which lane to use and how to get out of the circle. Accidents can occur when these necessary instructions are not followed.
- Stopping within the circle: Roundabouts are designed for the simultaneous movement of traffic. You should avoid stopping in the circle unless it is absolutely necessary for preventing a crash.
- Not yielding to bicyclists and pedestrians: Pedestrians and bicyclists share a roundabout with drivers. Drivers are required to watch out for pedestrians in order to avoid a serious accident.
- Not yielding to other drivers: Drivers are required to yield to other cars already present in the circle when entering a roundabout. You may cause a crash if you fail to do this.
- Not using a turn signal or changing lanes: Drivers should stick to their lane unless they want to exit the traffic circle. Motorists should go around the circle again or take the wrong exit if it is unsafe to change lanes.
- Not allowing sufficient space: Motorists are required to assume that large vehicles and trucks need more space for maneuvering within the roundabout. It can be dangerous to pass them resulting in an accident.
- Not making space for emergency vehicles: Emergency vehicles need to navigate through a roundabout quickly. They depend on other motorists to make this easier. An accident may occur if the emergency vehicle is unable to navigate through the roundabout.
Accidents in roundabouts are less serious because of slower speeds. Moreover, they still take place. You can recover compensation from the at-fault driver if you were injured in a car accident. You should consider speaking with a skilled car accident attorney to learn more about available legal options.
Increased Risk of Roundabout Accidents
Violating the rules and customs of the road are dangerous habits that can result in catastrophic consequences. Lack of awareness or communication among flustered drivers can result in unsafe situations in the roundabout. It’s critical for road users to be mindful of each other when approaching the roundabout. This can prevent an accident that may cause severe injuries or even death.
You must make use of the turn signal when you want to indicate your wish to change lanes. You need to do this while in roundabouts as well. You should also consider that other fellow motorists on the roundabout may want to change their lanes. They may also be using the roundabout for the first time.
Collisions because of careless lane changes are highly common. You may risk endangering people and property just by not being mindful of using your blinker.
How to Avoid Roundabout Accidents?
Anxiety is a common response to driving in unfamiliar places and situations. You probably don’t know which lane to take or how to make an exit. Many drivers are not aware whether they can make a right turn when the signal is red. You may encounter different types of exits at every roundabout.
In particular, roundabouts have a paralyzing effect on motorists. They get confused on various accounts – which lane to choose, when to yield, which exit to use, and other similar things. In relation to this, there are generally no overhead signals for telling the drivers when to enter the fray. This type of behavior and confusion can jeopardize the safety of everyone within the traffic circle.
There are certain roundabouts in which vehicles need to make tighter turns. This can be a struggle for big rigs since they have a limited turning radius. In addition, there are significant blind spots in a large truck, such as directly behind the truck and along the sides.
Speak With a Car Accident Lawyer Today
You shouldn’t expect the negligent driver’s insurance carrier to treat you fairly if you were injured in a roundabout vehicle accident. The attorneys at Burge & Burge can help you fight for rightful compensation and protect your legal rights. Give us a call at 205-251-9000 or use our online contact form.