How Do I Safely Drive Through a Roundabout?
Road engineers are coming up with new and innovative ways to improve driver safety while keeping traffic congestion at a minimum. Although roundabouts have been seen mostly on European roads, communities in the United States are beginning to implement them as towns become more and more populated. Because of the rise of roundabouts, it is good idea to know how to safely navigate them:
- Slow down: When approaching a roundabout, lower your speed.
- Choose your lane: If the roundabout has multiple lanes, you need to decide which to use before entering, which generally depends on where you are turning. For example, if you must turn on the second exit, use the outside lane.
- Yield: Before entering the roundabout, be sure to yield to those already in it. Once you are in the circle, you now have the right-of-way over those waiting to enter. Stay in your own lane if using a multi-lane roundabout.
- Pedestrians and bicyclists: As a driver, always yield to pedestrians and bicyclists. Bicyclists can treat the lanes like drivers, unless they are walking with the bike, in which event they should use the sidewalks instead.
- Counter-clockwise: Always turn right when entering a roundabout and proceed in a counter-clockwise direction. Never attempt to shortcut and go left under any circumstances. Stay in the roundabout until you reach your exit and use your right turn signal before exiting while watching for pedestrians crossing.
- Do not pass trucks: Always yield to oncoming trucks and larger vehicles and allow them to use both lanes if they need.
- Emergency vehicles: Allow emergency vehicles to pass you or exit the roundabout and pull over, giving them room to pass.
The Benefits of Roundabouts
Because there are not many roundabouts presently in our area, the common thought misconception is that they are more dangerous from the conventional intersection. That is simply not true. In fact:
- According to recent studies, roundabouts reduce the chances of an accident by 37 percent.
- The same studies show that there is a 75% decrease in injuries.
- Eliminate speeding because of the posted speed limit, the nature of having to slow down to enter the circle, as well as forcing cars to slow down in order to yield to others in the roundabout.
- Reduces the risk of speeding, T-bone collisions or head-on collisions.
- Roundabouts increase visibility for drivers, as they can plainly see what is coming, and eliminates the need to make a left turn across an intersection, which is one of the deadlier maneuvers to make.
- Roundabouts ease traffic congestion all while increasing capacity by almost 50 percent.
Even with all the safety benefits, there is a possibility that car accidents can occur in a roundabout. Perhaps because of unfamiliarity, some common roundabout mistakes include:
- Failing to yield to vehicles already in the roundabout.
- Driving too fast or failing to slow down when approaching the entrance of a roundabout.
- Stopping suddenly within the roundabout suddenly, leading to a rear end accident.
- Using the wrong lane when exiting the roundabout.
- Cutting in front of others, changing lanes without warning.
Should you get into an accident in a roundabout, you may need to speak to a lawyer because of the complexity of the circumstances. Roundabout accidents may be difficult to prove who or what is at fault and having the best legal advice can only help your situation.
The Delaware Personal Injury Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Those Injured in Roundabout Accidents
Delaware is beginning to see more and more roundabouts implemented on its roadways, so it is wise to know how to drive through them safely. However, accidents do happen, especially if someone is reckless or negligent. If you have been injured in an accident, call the Delaware personal injury lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. immediately. Our knowledgeable team has years of experience with these types of cases and can help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With our offices located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve all communities of Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.