Without stoplights or stop signs, roundabouts allow for a smooth flow of traffic, regardless of the time of day or traffic levels. In theory, that’s how they work. In practice, roundabouts see a substantial amount of accidents every year. By learning what causes roundabout accidents, you can keep yourself safe and practice extra caution while driving through one.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Find out now by calling Olmstead & Olmstead at 703-361-1555.
Entering at the Wrong Time
It’s important to wait for the appropriate time to enter a roundabout. Rather than yielding to those on the right of you, you are yielding to those approaching from the left. This means that if someone is already in the roundabout and is about to pass you from the left, you should wait.
You should also wait if someone at the entrance to your left is about to enter if your entrance would force them to stop. People often try to save a few seconds by sneaking in front of someone, only to cause a crash.
On the flip side, you also shouldn’t take too long to enter a roundabout. While they can be unnerving if you are unfamiliar with them, it’s not reasonable to wait until the entire roundabout is clear. If you wait too long, you risk being rear-ended.
Slowing Down or Stopping in the Roundabout
It’s common to get flustered or confused in a roundabout, particularly ones with multiple lanes. You can only exit from certain lanes, and that can be difficult to figure out on your first drive-through. Instead of stopping or slowing down too much, go through the roundabout again and watch for a sign directing you where to go.
Unexpected stops and slowdowns can cause crashes as the people behind you try to stop in time. If you truly cannot figure out what to do without stopping, exit at your earliest convenience and then figure out how to get out at the appropriate exit.
Switching Lanes Unsafely
Multilane roundabouts accommodate a heavier flow of traffic, making them ideal for urban areas and major intersections. They can also be confusing until you get accustomed to them. If you realize that you’re in the wrong lane for your exit, don’t try to skip multiple lanes to get to the right one.
It’s impossible to know how traffic is in every lane between your current one and your target one, and your chances of getting hit are high. Even if it means going through the roundabout multiple times, do so and change lanes one at a time.
Exiting at the Wrong Time
This ties in closely with switching lanes unsafely. Many of us have had this unpleasant experience: you are getting ready to exit the roundabout at your chosen location. Someone flies in from your left out of nowhere, cutting you off and getting dangerously close to the front of your car before zooming away ahead of you. Going through the roundabout one more time so that you don’t miss your exit will only cost you a few seconds but trying to exit at the very last second could cost you a lot more.
How to Prevent a Roundabout Accident
Staying safe in roundabouts is fairly easy. If you are unfamiliar with roundabouts, practice them during non-peak hours of the day. If your first time trying to go through is when everyone is headed to or coming home from work, you’re going to have a rough time. Try later in the evening or during the late morning hours.
If a roundabout confuses you the first time, look for information online regarding proper exit lanes and procedures. Don’t be afraid to circle through multiple times before exiting so you have time to verify where you should go. Finally, try not to panic. If you take your time and stay mindful of the flow of traffic, you can keep yourself and others safe.
Find Out How Olmstead & Olmstead Can Help You After a Car Crash
The team at Olmstead & Olmstead is committed to helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Don’t trust your financial well-being to the liable party’s insurance company. Let us fight for a full and fair settlement on your behalf. Get started now by calling us at 703-361-1555 or .