Roundabout Accidents on Georgia Roadways

Across the country, roundabouts are becoming increasingly common as states, cities, and towns look for new ways to increase traffic flow while reducing accidents and vehicle emissions. (Studies do show that roundabouts reduce some types of crashes, such as T-bone collisions and head-on wrecks, which occur at traditional intersections.) However, accidents can still occur in roundabouts, and many drivers are unsure of how to negotiate entering and exiting traffic circles.

Types of Roundabout Accidents

A study conducted by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) found that four types of crashes accounted for almost all collisions in roundabouts:

  • Failure to yield at entry to vehicles already in the roundabout (entering-circulating collisions)
  • Running off the roadway
  • Rear-end collisions at entry
  • Sideswipes

A common crash type at both single-lane and double-lane roundabouts involved vehicles colliding with the central island. These crashes (which frequently involved speeding or the driver not seeing the roundabout) accounted for almost half of all single-vehicle, run off the road crashes.

Driving Safely in a Traffic Circle

When entering a roundabout, traffic laws concerning right-of-way still apply. You must yield to other traffic that is already in the roundabout, so before you merge, wait for a gap in traffic. You will always enter a roundabout to the right, and continue circling until you have reached the roadway onto which you want to turn. When reaching the desired road, you will always exit to the right. Be sure to signal as you exit.

Be sure to slow down to the posted speed limit to maneuver around the circle safely. Also watch for pedestrians, and stop if any pedestrians are in the crosswalk when you enter and exit the roundabout. Never walk through a roundabout or cross the center island.

Look out for longer vehicles and tractor-trailers in roundabouts. They may have a difficult time negotiating curves, thus posing a hazard to smaller vehicles traveling near them.

Most importantly, keep your eyes focused in the direction in which your automobile is moving. One of the most common causes of rear-end accidents is a driver’s failure to see traffic stopping because he or she is looking to the left in anticipation of a merge.

Watching for Bicyclists in Roundabouts

Unlike motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians, bicyclists are actually more likely to be seriously injured in roundabout collisions than at signalized intersections. Often, bicyclists do not have enough room to maneuver around a traffic circle safely, and car and truck drivers may fail to see them when entering and exiting the roundabout. If you are biking in a roundabout, stay in the middle of the lane so car drivers do not attempt to pass you.

Contact the Georgia Injury Lawyers at KWFDM

If you have been injured in a roundabout accident, contact the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall LLC to discuss compensation that may be available to you. Your first consultation is free, and we collect no attorney’s fees until we obtain financial recovery on your behalf. Keep in mind that there are time limits for which you can make a claim for compensation following an accident. Call us today at (404) 460-0101.

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