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.
CENTER TURN LANE
Some two-way streets have a center turn lane, which makes it easier for vehicles to either turn or move into one of the travel lanes. The center turn lane is located between lanes of opposing traffic and is bounded on each side by one solid yellow line and sometimes times by a broken yellow line. These lines mean that the center lane is not a travel lane. A motorist may turn into it briefly while looking to either merge with the traffic or turn left onto another street.
The Louisiana Driver’s Guide “D” and “E” states, in part, that “There is something called two-way left turn channelization markings, and they are combinations of solid yellow and dashed yellow lines that are in the center of the roadway. The designated center lane, a center lane that is designated in this way may be used by vehicles traveling in either direction for left turn maneuvers only and this lane must never be used for passing.”
A motorist who wants to turn left from the center lane must activate the vehicle’s left turn signal and then wait until there is a large enough gap between the vehicle and oncoming traffic before turning left or merging into a regular lane. If a motorist wants to merge into traffic on the right, a right turn signal must be activated and, when there is an adequate gap in the traffic, only then can the motorist move.
A motorist may not drive a vehicle in the center turn lane for more than 200 feet while waiting to turn left or merge into the adjacent travel lanes or to reach a dedicated left-turn lane at an intersection. A vehicle in a dedicated left-turn lane at an intersection shall turn at the intersection only as designated by posted pavement marking, signing, or traffic signal indication.
You May Need A Lawyer To Recover Your Damages
Under Louisiana law, an accident 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 accident victim loses the right to sue the wrongdoer for both economic and non-economic damages.
We are a boutique law firm consisting of Richard Kennedy and Richard Kennedy III. This important because you will know who is representing you, we will keep you timely informed about your case and all the information that you need for us to do our very best to get justice for you. We answer our clients’ calls and promptly answer their emails. The bottom line is simple: we and our clients work as a team. That is critical in building trust. So, if you need a lawyer, call us at (337) 232-1934 to get started.
REAR VIEW MIRRORS AND BLIND SPOTS
Every vehicle — sedan, SUV, truck, whatever, has one or more blind spots. That’s why vehicles are equipped with rear view and side mirrors. More modern vehicles have driver-alert monitoring, lane change monitoring, and more. But these devices are no substitute for knowing where the blind spots are on your vehicle and how to avoid having a wreck because you failed to know about them and how to successfully deal with them.
In 1995, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) published a research paper that recommended how you should adjust your side and windshield rearview mirrors to eliminate blind spots. That research showed that you should adjust the side mirrors as far outward as you can so that the viewing angle of the side mirrors just overlaps the view of the center rearview mirror. In this manner, you use the center rearview mirror to see what is coming up from behind, while the outside mirrors reflect the area outside the view of the center rearview mirror.
Here is the proper way to adjust your mirrors:
First, adjust your rearview mirror so that it frames the rear window. You should be able to see traffic flow to the rear of the vehicle with the rearview mirror.
Second, place your head against the driver’s side window and adjust the driver’s side mirror so you can barely see the driver’s side of your vehicle.
Third, move your head as close to the center of the car as possible and adjust the passenger side mirror so you can barely see the passenger side of your car.
Fourth, To test your adjustments, watch a car pass you in the next lane. The passing car should be seen in your side mirror before it fully leaves the center rearview mirror. You should also detect the passing car in your peripheral vision before it leaves the outside rearview mirror. Always remember that the center inside rearview mirror is the primary mirror. Although it may take time to get used to not seeing the sides of your car in the side mirrors, it is very important for your rear-view mirrors to be in the correct position so that you can see as much as possible of the traffic behind you as well as those that might be in your blind spot.
You May Need A Lawyer To Recover Your Damages
Under Louisiana law, a 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.
We are a boutique law firm consisting of Richard Kennedy and Richard Kennedy III. Is this important to you? You bet. Why? Because you will know who is representing you, we will keep you timely informed about your case and all the information that you need for us to do our very best to get justice for you. We answer our clients’ calls and promptly answer their emails. The bottom line is simple: we and our clients work as a team and get to know each other on a personal — not just a professional — level. That is critical in building trust. So, if you need a lawyer, call us at (337) 232-1934 to get started.