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What Are the Causes of Roundabout Car Accidents?

Published: Jun 27, 2023 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Belleville Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm Help Drivers Injured in Roundabout Accidents

With the number of vehicles increasing over the past several decades, so is the need for efficient roadways that make traffic easier to navigate and keep everyone safe. That is the ultimate goal of communities installing roundabouts, an intersection where drivers travel counterclockwise around a central area.

Instead of the standard four-way intersections, roundabouts are being used more frequently. However, because many drivers are unfamiliar with them and the many moving parts within a roundabout, there is a possibility of an accident.

Roundabouts are popular because they slow down traffic and eliminate the need for dangerous left-hand turns and head-on collisions. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), roundabouts have 35 percent fewer car accidents than traditional intersections, with a 90 percent decrease in fatalities and a 75 percent decrease in injuries.

However, roundabout accidents do happen. Here are the main reasons why they occur:

  • Unfamiliarity: Roundabouts are still relatively new. This can make drivers anxious or confused when approaching one, causing them to make careless decisions. Drivers may over-complicate the situation and become nervous seeing the moving parts of a roundabout, including pedestrians and bicyclists moving alongside cars in a condensed area.
  • Right-of-way confusion: What makes the roundabout efficient in keeping traffic moving safely is drivers knowing the rules of a roundabout and when to yield. Who has the right-of-way in a roundabout? Pedestrians and bicyclists always have the right of way. Then it is the drivers who are already traveling in the circle. To enter a roundabout safely, you must yield before entering, ensuring a safe gap in which you can enter. While you are in the roundabout, never slow down or stop to let someone in. This can lead to an accident. Furthermore, if you miss your exit in the roundabout, keep going around in the circle until you approach your exit again.
  • Poor driving habits: You must be fully aware and focused while traveling in a roundabout, just like in other driving scenarios. Good driving habits are essential in a traffic circle; using your turn signals properly allows others to know your intentions, and leaving enough space between yourself and others gives you enough time to react to a stopped or slowed vehicle. Change lanes carefully, and when a big commercial truck is in a roundabout, allow them enough room to turn into their exit.
  • Speeding: When you approach a roundabout, your instinct should be to slow down and assess the situation. You do not want to speed, especially in the circle designed for slower speeds. Speeding through a roundabout can lead to a car accident.
  • Distractions: Many drivers know the dangers of distracted driving. Whether using your phone while driving, eating, drinking, or even talking to a passenger, taking your focus away from driving for a mere few seconds is enough time to lead to an accident. This is especially true while driving in a roundabout. Even if you know how to drive in a traffic circle, other drivers around you may not. They may brake suddenly or slow down abruptly, and you may crash if you are not paying attention.

Belleville Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm Help Drivers Injured in Roundabout Accidents

Roundabouts are still relatively new to many drivers across the country. Not knowing how to drive through one properly can lead to a driver acting recklessly, causing an accident. If a negligent driver has injured you, our Belleville car accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm are here to help. Call us today at 618-277-3644 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.