What Are the Causes of Roundabout Car Accidents?

March 17, 2024
Our Experienced Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represent Clients Injured in Roundabout Accidents

Roundabouts are alternatives to intersections, and their advocates claim that these “circles” reduce road congestion and improve traffic flow. Yet, just like traditional intersections, roundabouts can increase the chances of accidents. How do these crashes happen, and what are the best ways to navigate roundabouts safely?

Here are the three leading causes of roundabout car accidents:

  • Inadequate yielding: Roundabouts operate on the principle of yielding to traffic already moving within the circle. Yet, many drivers fail to yield properly, either because they misunderstand the right-of-way rules or because they are not paying attention. That can lead to collisions with vehicles already in the roundabout, causing rear-end accidents or side-impact collisions.
  • Misjudging entry gaps: Drivers often struggle to accurately gauge the distance and speed of vehicles already in the roundabout. Then, they either enter the circle when it is unsafe or hesitate excessively, disrupting the flow of traffic and increasing the risk of a crash. This mistake can result in sideswipe collisions or even head-on collisions.
  • Speeding: Not surprisingly, excessive speed is a significant contributing factor to roundabout accidents. Some drivers fail to slow down appropriately when approaching a roundabout, leading to losing control or an inability to yield to other vehicles. This also reduces the driver’s reaction time and increases the severity of collisions. Speeding also makes it harder to judge entry gaps.

How Is Liability Determined in Roundabout Accidents?

As with other kinds of car accidents, liability for roundabout crashes is determined based on negligence principles. A driver found to have breached their duty of care towards others on the road may be held liable for the resulting damages. Factors like failing to yield, driver error, distraction, and speeding are considered when determining liability.

Your legal team can gather evidence like witness statements, traffic camera footage, and police reports to help establish fault. Remember that liability may be shared if multiple parties contributed to the accident. Consulting with a knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing compensation in roundabout accident cases.

How Can Drivers Reduce the Risk of Roundabout Car Accidents?

To reduce the risk of roundabout accidents, drivers should become familiar with the specific right-of-way rules in these locations. In general, vehicles already in the roundabout have the right of way, and entering ones must yield. Yield signs and road markings typically indicate the correct yielding points.

When approaching a roundabout, exercise caution when judging entry gaps. Take the time to accurately assess circulating vehicles’ speed and distance before entering the roundabout. Err on the side of caution if uncertain, and only enter the circle when there is enough room to do so safely. By practicing patience and attentiveness, drivers can avoid the common pitfall of misjudging entry gaps and reduce the risk of collisions.

Maintaining a safe, appropriate speed is also important when approaching and being in roundabouts. Slow down to give yourself time to assess traffic conditions and react accordingly, adhering to the posted speed limit. Remember that slower speeds improve your ability to yield and increase your chances of circling the roundabout without incident and safely continuing.

Our Experienced Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represent Clients Injured in Roundabout Accidents

If you were injured in a roundabout accident, contact our skilled Chester County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. for a confidential consultation. Submit our online form or call our Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania offices at 610-565-3701 to speak with our representatives. We serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.