Roundabouts have been increasingly adopted in most US cities and towns over the last few decades. Correlating with this, there are still numerous automobile drivers that are unfamiliar with the way these unique traffic management tools work. They are not sure about the rules of the road which can cause potential car accidents. Roundabouts are essentially intersections that help in directing traffic in a circle toward multiple exit points.
The incoming traffic is required to yield the right of way to the cars already present in the circle. Roundabouts and traffic circles are almost the same, except traffic circles have signals.
Why are Roundabout Accidents on the Rise?
A major benefit of roundabouts is that they prevent high-speed right-angle accidents and head-on collisions since all drivers are heading in the same direction. However, there are several reasons why accidents in a roundabout do happen. These are a few unsafe practices that can result in a roundabout crash:
- Speeding: Motorists need to slow down when approaching a roundabout and while within it. It’s vital that drivers within the roundabout yield to other drivers. Speeding drivers don’t usually have enough time to prevent an accident by slowing down.
- Incorrect lanes: Roadside signs are meant to prevent car accidents on the road. These signs are more important within roundabouts, especially when there is more than one lane. The signs let the driver know how to get inside and outside the circle. They need to use the right lane to let other drivers yield the right of way. Accidents can occur when such important instructions are ignored.
- Stopping: Roundabouts are designed to let traffic flow smoothly. The traffic within these circles continuously moves unless there are traffic signals. Many people stop inside the circle to read signs or to find the right exit. This can cause an accident. You should not stop inside a roundabout unless absolutely necessary.
- Not yielding to bicyclists and pedestrians: Roundabouts are meant for cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians and cyclists. They should also keep an eye out for them to avoid a major accident.
- Not yielding to traffic: The driver is required to yield to cars already present in the circle when entering the roundabout. Failure to do so may result in a car accident.
- Not using a turn signal: Drivers need to use turn signals for changing lanes and exiting the circle. Drivers should not change lanes unless they are absolutely sure because of the continuous moving nature of traffic within a roundabout. The driver should consider going around the circle if they think they will miss their exit.
- Not giving sufficient space to large vehicles: You should assume that large vehicles and trucks require more space for turning. It is dangerous to pass these.
- Distracted driving: A major reason for roundabout accidents is also distracted driving. Distracted driving can involve anything from fiddling with the dashboard controls to looking at the GPS. Many drivers get confused about when to take an exit. And, as a result, they look down at the GPS. This can cause a rear-end collision and side collision among other similar car accidents.
While accidents are rarely serious in roundabouts because of slower speeds, they can occur. Injured victims can still recover compensation from drivers that caused the accidents through a personal injury suit. It’s fundamental that you work with an experienced attorney to get maximum compensation.
Potential Benefits and Dangers of Roundabouts
The virtue of roundabouts is touted by many engineers because they tend to slow down traffic. They reduce the need for making dangerous left-hand turns. They are usually considered a safer alternative to 4-way stops and other things. However, roundabouts suffer from almost all common causes of accidents. The likelihood of accidents is high in those cases where drivers are not experienced with navigating the roundabouts.
Roundabouts are safer in theory because traffic only comes from one direction. However, the unique features and novelty of these circles can mean that the motorists take more risks and are prone to making mistakes. Roundabouts have a compact nature, which means that cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers are concentrated in a manner that is not seen in normal intersections.
The National Safety Council defines the proximity of Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) as anyone that is not within the protective metal shield of a car. Accidents involving nearby cyclists and pedestrians can result in catastrophic injuries in a roundabout.
Talk to a Dedicated Alabama Car Accident Attorney Today
You may suffer catastrophic injuries and significant property damage if you were injured in a roundabout accident because of the fault of another. You could find yourself struggling with mounting medical bills and loss of wages, while you deal with serious pain and suffering from your accident.
The capable roundabout accident attorneys at the law firm of Frank M. Wilson are here to help you prepare a strong lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve. We have years of experience and the necessary resources for building a strong claim. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (334) 420-2931 or fill out this online contact form.