What You Need To Know About Roundabouts
The battle is ongoing to make the roadways throughout this country as safe as possible for those traveling along them and different methods are incorporated in an attempt to accomplish this. An increasing number of cities throughout the United States have incorporated roundabouts as one such attempt to better traffic conditions. Roundabouts are circular road areas that enable cars that are traveling from multiple directions to enter an organized traffic pattern in a counterclockwise direction before reaching the appropriate exit.
The Benefits of Roundabouts
Roundabouts do not contain traffic signals, stop lights or stop signs unlike the intersections that are seen more often here in Florida. It may therefore be surprising that the reason roundabouts are being increasingly incorporated is that they are generally viewed as being a safer alternative to traditional intersections. Indeed, statistics indicate that roundabouts do in fact reduce the chance of motor vehicle collisions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently revealed results of studying roundabouts in Carmel, Indiana, the city that is first in the nation in the number of roundabouts with more than 100 already. That study indicated that the double-teardrop design studied had lowered injury crashes at the relevant locations by 84 percent and reduced the number of overall crashes at these locations by over sixty percent. It has been stated elsewhere that overall, roundabouts reduce the number of crashes by a third and their severity by as much as 80 percent.
One of the reasons that roundabouts can be so helpful is that they reduce the likelihood of one of the biggest behaviors that causes accidents occurring – not yielding the right of way. Between slower speeds and the fact that everyone travels in the same direction, any accident that happens will likely lean toward being minor.
Do Roundabouts Completely Eliminate the Chances of an Accident?
Unfortunately not. While roundabouts have great advantages, a car accident can still occur in certain conditions. Because roundabouts don’t contain any visible signal of when drivers need to enter and travel through them, drivers themselves have to be relied on to travel when appropriate. Anyone who is entering a roundabout should remember that the keys to traveling through without interruption are to remain focused and:
- Always yield to the traffic that is already in the circle
- Pause for any pedestrians who happen to be crossing the road
- Pay attention to any markings on the road that dictate the traffic pattern ahead
- Avoid distractions such as eating, changing the music or using your phone
- Don’t tailgate the vehicle driving in front of you
- Use your rear signal when exiting, especially if there are multiple lanes in the roundabout
Have You Been Injured in a Roundabout Collision?
The presence of a roundabout is not always enough to prevent a car accident from happening. Even a roundabout accident that results in what seems to be only minor injuries and property damage can still result in substantial financial losses. If you have been injured in an accident of any kind and believe that another driver is to blame, you should turn to a legal advocate you can depend on to fight for a fair reward for your losses. As the knowledgeable Florida car accident lawyers at Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A., we have more than sixty years of collective experience helping accident victims in situations of all kinds hold parties accountable for damages resulting from their reckless or negligent behavior while behind the wheel. Contact us today to discuss your accident in further detail in a free, no-obligation consultation.