The use of roundabouts is increasing all across the country due to their generally positive impact on cities and traffic control. They are a proven safer alternative to traditional intersections, help improve traffic flow, and can even save cities money on construction costs. However, despite their many benefits, roundabouts can be confusing for some drivers, resulting in collisions.
Generally, accidents at roundabouts result in minor damage and injuries because of the reduced speed required to navigate them. However, no matter the severity of an accident, injured victims have a right to pursue compensation from the guilty party who hit them. If you are injured in a roundabout accident, be sure to contact a local Indiana personal injury attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
The Benefits of Roundabouts
When properly navigated, roundabouts can provide significant benefits for drivers and cities. Some of these benefits include:
- Reducing traffic delays: Because roundabouts allow for a continuous flow of traffic, they reduce the amount of time cars have to sit and wait.
- Reducing accidents: Roundabouts move traffic in a circular motion instead of having intersections where cars cross paths. They also force drivers to slow down and yield to oncoming traffic. This reduces the chances of an accident occurring.
- Reducing emissions and fuel consumption: When cars idle at traditional intersections, it consumes more fuel and releases more gas emissions into the atmosphere. However, as roundabouts keep traffic continually moving, it reduces the time that cars have to stop and idle.
- Safer for pedestrians and cyclists: Roundabouts are typically designed with safety in mind for both drivers and pedestrians. Even cyclists often have designated lanes in roundabouts to improve their safety. In addition, because navigating a roundabout forces drivers to slow down, it reduces the likelihood of hitting a pedestrian or a cyclist.
- Cost-effective: Roundabouts require fewer materials to build and take up less space, which means they are cheaper for cities to build than traditional intersections.
How to Safely Navigate Roundabouts in Indiana
Roundabouts are a simpler design than traditional intersections. They are created by building a circular path around a central island, usually with 2–4 entry and exit points. All traffic moves in a one-way direction in a circular motion without crossing paths, and when cars approach a roundabout, they yield to oncoming traffic until there is space for them to enter. Once a driver enters a roundabout, they simply move around the central island until they reach their desired exit point and pull out unimpeded.
When drivers obey the rules of roundabouts, there are generally fewer accidents. The following tips can help you safely navigate a roundabout to avoid a collision:
- Slow down and obey the roundabout speed limit.
- Check for pedestrians and yield to oncoming traffic before entering.
- If the roundabout has two lanes, do not attempt to change lanes once you have entered.
- When approaching your exit, use your signal to notify drivers behind you that you will be slowing down to exit the roundabout.
- Never stop for any reason in a roundabout. If you miss your exit, simply continue around the circle until you come to it again.
- Do not ignore yield signs and try to squeeze out in front of an oncoming car if there is not enough room.
Accidents and Issues That Can Occur at Roundabouts
While roundabouts are generally safer, accidents can still happen. Though the Indiana local government does support the safety and construction of roundabouts, there are occasional reports of increases in accidents when roundabouts are first built. This is typically due to driver confusion around how to navigate the roundabout and people disobeying yield signs.
When accidents do occur, they tend to be minor, but it depends on the individual circumstances. For example, while roundabouts encourage reduced speeds, a driver can speed through one. And the faster a driver is going, the more severe the resulting damage and injuries will be if they cause an accident.
Some of the more common types of accidents that occur in roundabouts include the following:
- Running off the road
- Rear-end collisions
- Entering collisions
- Exiting collisions
- Colliding with the central island
Consult an Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured in a roundabout-related accident, our experienced Indiana personal injury attorneys can help. At Crossen Law Firm, our team has years of experience fighting for the victims of car accidents. Whether you are a pedestrian, a cyclist, or were driving when injured, we are dedicated to working tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today or give us a call for a free consultation at (317) 401-8626.