Common Causes of Roundabout Accidents

May 13, 2024
Auto Accidents

Roundabouts are becoming increasingly common on roads throughout the United States as a way to help reduce traffic congestion and improve safety. While they can be very effective in reducing accidents, there are still some common causes of roundabout accidents.

If you or a loved one has been in a roundabout accident, call our Decatur accident attorneys at Marks Law Group today for a free, legal consultation at (678) 251-9309.

Roundabouts Come With Benefits and Potential Danger

Roundabouts are a popular choice when it comes to safe, efficient intersection design. Studies have found that they can reduce traffic-related collisions by up to 80 percent compared to other intersection designs. This is primarily because they slow down the flow of traffic, eliminating dangerous left-hand turns and creating a safer alternative to 4-way stops. In theory, roundabouts are ideal for intersections as the cars only come from one direction, minimizing the potential for collisions.

Despite these benefits, roundabouts still come with their own set of risks. Drivers who aren't used to navigating roundabouts can be more prone to making mistakes due to the novelty of their features.

Additionally, because of the rounded nature of a roundabout’s design, pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers become more concentrated in a way that isn't an issue with other intersection designs – amplifying any potential for accidents. To help combat this danger and ensure everyone's safety while using roundabouts, both drivers and pedestrians should make sure to use extra caution when entering or crossing them.

Roundabouts and the Right of Way

When approaching or navigating a roundabout, safety should always be top of mind. Legally, pedestrians and cyclists always have the right-of-way as they navigate the sidewalk or bike lane. However, once drivers enter the circle, those already occupying it must be given the right of way.

a man looking at his car after being rear-ended

This means that any cars entering must yield and wait for a break in traffic coming from their left before entering. Drivers already inside should not stop to let someone in either – while this may seem helpful, it can cause potential hazards by forcing other drivers to suddenly break or turn unexpectedly. This could cause a roundabout collision.

Car Accident Risk and Maneuvering Through a Roundabout

Proper navigation through a roundabout is essential for ensuring the safety of all drivers. One of the most common causes of car accidents in a roundabout is rear-end collisions due to sudden stops. This situation can quickly become worse as multiple vehicles are involved and cause further damage. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent this from happening by being aware of your surroundings such as the speed limit in the traffic circle and the speed of the traffic flow.

Avoiding an Accident When Turning in a Roundabout

The key to avoiding these types of crashes is not stopping in the middle of the roundabout, regardless of what the surrounding traffic is doing. You should allow other cars time to take their turns before you enter the circle and be aware that you are not responsible for letting other traffic enter; they will wait on you as long as necessary.

Learn More: How to Prove Fault in a Georgia Car Accident

Additionally, if you accidentally miss an exit then do not panic as roundabouts function just like u-turns, therefore simply continue around the central island until you find your intended exit route again. By keeping these simple tips in mind, one can navigate safely through a roundabout and avoid any unnecessary losses or damages caused.

Poor Driving Habits Can Increase the Risk of a Roundabout Accident

Driver negligence is one of the main causes of traffic circle accidents, putting others at risk. Poor driving habits such as not using a turn signal or sudden braking can increase the chances of an accident occurring due to a lack of communication or awareness among drivers.

For example, if a negligent driver does not signal that they are entering a roundabout and another vehicle assumes they will go straight ahead, an accident could occur due to the sudden change in direction. It is also important to adjust your speed while navigating a roundabout so that you do not cause disruption or confusion with other vehicles by going too slowly or quickly.

Speeding and Roundabout Car Accidents

Speeding is a leading cause of car accidents and often leads to tragic consequences. When drivers are going faster than the roundabout speed, they tend to make mistakes that can be catastrophic such as taking turns too sharply which can result in loss of control. Such occurrences can result in accidents that can lead to traffic injuries or even death.

an aerial photo of a roundabout in Georgia

Additionally, when people drive at unsafe speeds, they are exhibiting behaviors associated with distracted driving such as being focused on going faster than the legal speed limit instead of focusing on the road and surrounding environment. This dangerous behavior compromises safe driving practices, reduces reaction time, and increases risks for other drivers.

Furthermore, due to a lack of awareness from speeding motorists, roundabout car accidents are especially prevalent because motorists may not be aware of who has the right-of-way or where they should position their vehicle using this type of intersection.

Distracted Driving Can Cause Roundabout Car Accidents

Distracted or reckless driving can have devastating consequences, none more evident than when it comes to roundabout car accidents. Drivers engaging in texting while driving or driving under the influence are incredibly risky activities that are prone to result in an accident. With a decrease in reaction time and awareness, the chances of successfully navigating a multi-lane roundabout is greatly reduced.

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Roundabouts often contain added complexity as they frequently feature both vehicular and pedestrian traffic coming from unexpected directions. A distracted or impaired driver is far less likely to be able to adjust quickly if they should notice bicyclists or pedestrians crossing their path within the roundabout.

Dangerous scenarios such as these can increase exponentially when inexperience with this form of circulatory navigation is added into the equation--even something as simple as having trouble judging one's speed when approaching may result in an unfortunate incident.

Marks Law Group Fights For Your Case!

If you or a loved one has been in a traffic accident, our experienced Decatur personal injury attorneys at Marks Law Group are here to help you get the settlement you deserve so that you can move on with your life. Our personal injury attorneys have experience in a wide variety of car accident cases and are passionate about giving you the best legal representation.

We also prioritize transparency throughout the entire process to ensure that our clients stay informed. Call us today for a free, initial consultation and case evaluation.