Roundabouts can eliminate the need for stoplights at some intersections, allowing for a smoother flow of traffic and fewer accidents. However, this is only true if people use the roundabout correctly and safely. Whenever roundabouts are installed in a new area, a flurry of roundabout accidents often follows. These crashes come down to a handful of core reasons.
Have you been hurt in a car crash? The team at Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell is here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. We have offices in Bay Minette and Chatom for your convenience. Schedule a consultation at our Bay Minette office by calling 251-651-0483 or our Chatom office by calling 251-847-2237.
Driving Too Fast
Roundabouts aren’t racetracks, and the goal isn’t to get through them as quickly as possible. Still, many people treat them like getting out of the roundabout first is the top priority. You should drive much slower through a roundabout than you would through an intersection or open road.
Using the Wrong Lane and Ignoring Lane Signs
Many roundabouts have two or more lanes to allow people to smoothly navigate to the exit they need. There are clear signs indicating what each lane is for, but when people ignore those signs, accidents occur. Check out the sign that tells you how and when to exit. If you miss your exit or aren’t sure how to exit safely, go around again, read the sign, and try again.
Failure to Yield
Roundabouts follow slightly different rules than other types of traffic. While you typically yield to those on the right of you at a stop sign, you yield to those on the left—those already in the roundabout—when you enter a traffic circle. They do not have to stop for you and, in fact, should not stop for you. Doing so could cause a collision. Wait until you can enter safely without forcing someone in the circle to stop.
Cutting Off Other Drivers
Piggybacking off the last reason, many accidents occur because drivers cut off other drivers. They may do this when they enter the traffic circle. They think they have enough time to enter and get up to speed, but in doing so, they cause a crash with a driver who can’t slow down in time. If a driver realizes they need to be in another lane, they may try to cut across lanes of traffic to get there. Again, this often results in collisions.
Ignoring Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Pedestrians and bicyclists also use roundabouts, and ignoring them can lead to serious or fatal injuries for them. Pay extra close attention to cyclists and pedestrians and give them plenty of space when you are in a roundabout.
Stopping in the Roundabout
Anyone who is comfortable driving in roundabouts has seen this happen. A new driver encounters a roundabout for the first time and they enter successfully. But after that, they panic and realize they don’t know what to do or how to exit. Rather than staying in their lane, driving around, and looking for the sign again, they come to a complete stop.
As you can imagine, this causes complete chaos in a roundabout. They risk crashes with those behind them. As those behind them try to switch lanes to get around them, additional crashes may occur. Stopping in a roundabout is never the right choice.
So, what should you do if you get hurt in a roundabout accident? Call the police to report the accident, and when told to do so, move the vehicles out of the way. This allows traffic to continue moving safely. You’ll also want to seek medical attention.
In the Chatom area, you may go to Washington County Hospital or Choctaw Urgent Care Center. Facilities in Bay Minette include Infirmary Health Urgent Care and North Baldwin Primary Plus. After that, you will want to connect with a personal injury attorney to find out if you are entitled to compensation from the other party.
Get the Support You Need After an Accident with Turner, Onderdonk, Kimbrough & Howell
When someone else’s negligence causes you to become injured, you shouldn’t be stuck with the financial fallout. That’s where a personal injury claim can help. Let’s set up a time to talk about your accident and your next steps. You can reach us , call our Bay Minette office at 251-651-0483, or call our Chatom office at 251-847-2237. We look forward to helping you.