Over the past five years, you’ve noticed that an increasing number of four-way stops have been turned into roundabouts. Although you personally don’t mind them, it seems like a lot of other drivers have no clue how they work. Every single time you enter the circle, you see at least one person do something illegal or dangerously unsafe. The only thing you can do to counter the confusion is to lead by example.

Unfortunately, you can’t always be the leader at every roundabout in the state. So, if you alone witness countless acts of roundabout bewilderment, how safe are these types of intersections around the United States? You know they’re designed to be safer, but does the apparent confusion cause a lot of accidents?

Common Types of Roundabout Accidents

According to reports from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roundabouts have decreased national intersection accidents—in both crash and injury rates overall. Although, single-lane roundabouts have been found to have better safety performance rates than multilane roundabouts—due to design faults. When used properly, circular intersections are considerably less dangerous than normal intersections. However, when used improperly, recklessly, or ignorantly roundabouts can also pose a risk for injury. 

A recent report performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that confusion on when, where, and how to enter the circle accounts for more than half of all roundabout collisions, while unsafe speeds account for the majority of the rest. Thankfully, of all roundabout collisions, 75 percent of them merely result in property damage. However, the remaining 25 percent have the potential to result in serious injuries due to these five collision types:

  • Central island collisions. A common crash type at both single-lane and two-lane roundabouts involves vehicles colliding with the central island. When you’re driving within the circle, and another vehicle exits the circle without knowing which lane he is supposed to be in, he could potentially cut you off, veer into you, or otherwise force you to swerve into the island to avoid hitting him.
  • Rear-end collisions. Rear-end collisions are common due to drivers slowing down in the middle of the circle, or failing to give adequate notice when they slow down to exit.
  • Sideswipe collisions. Sideswipe collisions occur when drivers fail to adequately judge the curve of the circle and wind up veering into another lane. No matter what lane you’re in, you should always try to stagger your vehicle with the ones surrounding you, keeping tight control on your turns.
  • Entering collisions. Entering collisions occur when you’re already in the circle, but an oncoming vehicle fails to yield and collides into the side of your car.
  • Exiting collisions. Exiting collisions usually occur when a vehicle has placed himself in the inner lane, but expects to exit. If you’re next to him, but are continuing around the circle—he could assume that you’re also exiting and cut in front of you.

Straightening Out Your Injury Claim

Sometimes, even when you’re following all of the rules and obeying traffic safety, a less careful driver can cause you and your family serious injuries. Although the accident wasn’t your fault, you may wind up having to pay more than you deserve, and that isn’t okay. We know how frustrating and complicated these types of claims can be—especially when so many things can make or break your case. Let our experience and knowledge work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation, and learn how we may be able to help take the confusion and injustice out of your injury claim to help get you the compensation you deserve.

Make sure your family and friends are protected by sharing this page with them via Facebook or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about a recent accident.