Roundabouts are also called traffic circles. Roundabouts are one-way, circular intersections designed to improve safety and efficiency for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. In a roundabout, traffic flows counterclockwise around a center island. A roundabout redirects some of the conflicting traffic, such as left turns, which cause crashes at traditional intersections. This is because drivers enter and exit the roundabout through a series of right-hand turns.
Roundabouts replace regular intersections. They do not have stop signs, which eliminates the cost of electric traffic signals. Drivers must yield when entering and exiting a roundabout and must travel in a counterclockwise direction. Greater safety is achieved primarily by slower speeds and the elimination of more severe crashes and operation is improved by smooth-flowing traffic with less stop-and-go than a signalized intersection. Aesthetics are enhanced by the opportunity for more landscaping and less pavement, according to the DOTD. Roundabouts were first introduced in the U.S. in the 1990s. And since September 2003, some 174 more have been built in Louisiana according to the DOTD.
While intended to improve traffic flows and increase safety, roundabouts do not eliminate all traffic crashes. Many of the roundabout crashes are caused by drivers who are unfamiliar with them and the traffic rules that govern them. It is important to know that roundabouts may have two or more lanes, so know which lane you need before you enter the traffic circle.
Common Reasons for Crashes At Roundabouts
- Failure to yield to traffic that is already in the circle.
- Failure to yield to bicyclists and pedestrians.
- Drivers who stop abruptly in the circle because they are confused or missed their turn.
- Speeding when entering the circle.
Preventing Roundabouts Crashes
You cannot control the actions of other drivers. But if you obey some basic rules for roundabouts, you can help prevent a wreck:
- Slow down as you approach a roundabout.
- Yield to traffic that is already in the roundabout.
- Use your turn signal when exiting the roundabout.
- Give trucks and larger vehicles enough space to maneuver and exit the roundabout.
- Do not stop once you are in the traffic circle.
- Know which exit you need to take before you enter the circle.
Roundabout Crash Legal Timeline
Under Louisiana law, an crash victim has one year from the date of injury to file a lawsuit or, if possible, settle the case. When this one-year period expires, the crash victim loses the right to sue the wrongdoer for both economic and non-economic damages.
If You Need An Experienced Attorney
Call us today. We have been helping those injured for over 50 years. We work for our clients, explaining the laws that protect them, the laws that were broken, understanding the facts and our client’s injuries and how those injuries have impacted their daily lives, their goals, and their dreams. So, if you need a great lawyer, call us at (337) 232-1934 to get started.