Common Causes of Roundabout Accidents
You may be aware of more roundabout driving options on our roads these days. Actually, the roundabout is nothing new. A French architect invented the roundabout in 1877, while at the same time, an American architect was proposing a similar plan to route traffic.
A roundabout is one or two traffic lanes around a circle that let traffic on and off at various points. Since traffic can continue moving at a slower speed, the need for a four-way traffic stop complete with traffic lights is eliminated. The roundabout design slows traffic and reduces car crashes.
A simple design, the roundabout saw a surge of adaptation in the 1960s in Europe. In the Netherlands, for example, that country experienced a 95 percent reduction in vehicle passenger injuries when the roundabouts were installed.
In New York City, Columbus Circle opened its roundabout in 1905. In Long Beach, California, a roundabout installed in 1993 is credited with a 36 percent reduction in traffic accidents and a 20 percent reduction in accidents with injuries.
Because there were problems with crashes and congestion in the circles, the roundabouts were redesigned, and the rules for travel within them were revised in 1966.
Around the world, an increase in cars and traffic make the roundabout a sound option to reduce car crashes and speed on the road while allowing traffic to continue flowing.
If you are injured in an auto accident at a roundabout, J. Allan Brown will offer a complimentary consultation to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Under Alabama law, the individual found to be at fault can be held financially responsible for the other side’s losses, including their medical bills.
Reflecting on a study in France in 1990, it found six major flows that can lead to accidents.
- Motorists’ failure to understand there was an approaching roundabout.
- An exit and entry with two or more lanes.
- A failure to separate the exit and entry with an island.
- An oval-shaped roundabout led to more accidents.
- A very tight exit.
In the U.S., the Federal Highway Administration found that a nonconforming traffic circle (an earlier version of the roundabout) could result in a dead stop when the circle is filled with traffic.
To avoid accidents at a roundabout:
- Federal safety experts say traffic accidents occur at a roundabout when a driver fails to yield to the vehicle already in the roundabout, in other words, the person on their left. Those in the roundabout are not required to stop for you and should not be stopping since it interrupts the traffic flow.
- Some of the causes of traffic accidents at a roundabout occur when used on a high-speed road. A fast entry into the roundabout defeats the entire process of yielding to the car with the right of way.
- Do not piggyback on the driver ahead of you. Likely you do not have enough time to enter the circle and get up to speed, causing a collision with a driver in the circle who can’t slow down in time.
The Modern Roundabout
In order to improve safety, the modern roundabout has been redesigned and incorporated changes, such as:
- Requiring the entering traffic yield to circulating traffic. This prevents the traffic on the circle from locking up and not allowing vehicles to enter the circle.
- The modern roundabout is smaller with tighter turns which reduce speed.
- The modern roundabout has signage indicating what each of the two lanes should do.
Roundabouts generally result in fewer traffic accidents because they eliminate left-hand turns, reduce congestion, and reduce the cost of constructing an official intersection, complete with traffic lights.
At a roundabout, you eliminate the possibility of a head-on collision, a high-speed collision, or a T-bone collision.
Your Alabama Car Accident Attorney
In Alabama, 983 people lost their lives in car accidents in 2020, with many of these deaths occurring in more populated areas. This makes Alabama the eighth most dangerous state for drivers, many of them occurring at intersections where the driver may be distracted or driving too fast.
- Allan Brown is a personal injury attorney with extensive experience handling auto accident cases. If someone else’s negligence caused you to be injured, he will meet with you in a complimentary consultation to determine who caused the accident and whether you should be compensated.
Call the Mobile office of J. Alan Brown, L.L.C., before you talk to any insurance adjuster who does not have your interests at heart. Mr. Brown can be reached at (251) 473-6691.
Federal Highway Administration