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.
Do you know what to do when you get to a 4-way intersection? Generally, they are marked with a Stop Sign for each approaching vehicle. The Stop Signs take the place of an electric control light. Motorists often get confused at these intersections. BEWARE! Many motorists don’t know the simple rules that apply to 4-way intersections or they just disobey them. Motorists often get confused at these intersections, but the rules are really quite simple.
Here are FOUR SIMPLE RULES:
Rule 1: First to arrive, first to drive. When you’re approaching a 4-way stop, drivers who stopped before you have the right of way. If two or more vehicles reach the intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on your right.
Rule 2: Right-of-way goes to the right, so if two vehicles arrive at the same time, stop, and the car on the right has the right-of-way.
Rule 3: Straight doesn’t have to wait. If 2 vehicles arrive at the same time and are across from each other, stop and watch in which direction the other vehicle is going. If it goes straight, it’s safe for you to go straight because you won’t cross each other’s path. If you are turning, then the car that is going straight has the right-of-way.
Rule 4: Left turn yields to the right. If two vehicles arrive directly across from each other at the same time and both are turning, then the vehicle that is turning left yields to the one that is turning right. These are COMMON SENSE rules. Know them, follow them, and you’ll be safe.
Every day across the country, nearly 500,000 buses carry more than 25 million students to and from school and school-related activities.
School buses are the safest vehicles on the road, and one of the safest modes of transportation overall. In fact, children are much safer traveling in school buses than in any other vehicle, whether they’re going to and from school, a field trip, or a sporting event. They are even safer riding in a school bus than in a car with their parents or caregivers.
Louisiana School-Bus Laws
Motorists must stop at least thirty feet from a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading children. All 50 states have a law that makes it illegal to pass a school bus that is loading or unloading children. Always be prepared to stop when lights are flashing. Bus drivers will activate the flashing yellow lights of the bus at least 100 feet but no more than 500 feet before the school bus stop. As the bus comes to a complete stop, the flashing red lights and stop signs will activate. The motorist waits for the vehicle to move and scan before starting to drive again. This is required by law whether you are meeting the bus or traveling behind it. Every state has a law making it illegal to pass a school bus that’s stopped to load or unload passengers with its red lights flashing and stop arm extended. Far too many drivers simply choose to ignore the law for their own convenience and put children at risk.
You do not have to stop when the bus is stopped in a loading zone completely off the roadway and where pedestrians are not allowed to cross the roadway. If you are following a bus, increase your following distance in order to get a better view. Anticipate the bus stopping at its pickup and drop off points. Never pass a bus with its red lights flashing on the right or on the left. Buses typically travel at lower rates of speed and make frequent stops. During the school year school buses are most likely to be on the road during a three-hour period in the morning and a three-hour period in the afternoon.
When a school bus is stopped in opposite lanes on a roadway separated by a ditch, grassy median, elevated concrete barrier or any obstacle that prevents traffic from driving thereon, you are not required to stop. Drivers are also not required to stop for a stopped school bus when traveling on four-lane or five-lane roadways which are separated by a dedicated two-way left turn lane. Drivers must stop on a four-lane roadway when it is not separated by a barrier.
School Bus and Automobile Crashes
Bus crashes can be serious. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an empty car can weigh up to 5,000 pounds, while an empty school bus can weigh up to 14,500 pounds. This disparity may increase if the bus is at full capacity. What does this mean? Colliding with a school bus versus a passenger vehicle could mean you might sustain more serious personal injuries and more extensive damage to your vehicle. You may have to deal with injuries, such as:
Concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
Damage to or loss of extremities
Such injuries can result in both economic and non-economic damages. Typical examples of economic damages are wage losses, job loss, medical expenses, and funeral costs. Typical examples of non-economic damages are physical pain and suffering, emotional pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and disfigurement. In short, economic damages can be quantified. Non-economic damages cannot be quantified; they are subjective and subject to speculation. No ever person is the same, so non-economic damages vary from person to person.
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.
Most people have no experience with the legal system and dealing with insurance companies. It is important to know that there are two Points of View (POV). The accident victim wants Justice, meaning full compensation. The insurance company wants to pay the injured person as little as possible for damages. So if you need an attorney, you want one who cares about you, who spends time getting to know you, who keeps you informed about your case, who spends the necessary time to explain the law, and who know what evidence is needed to prove all of your damages.
At the Law Offices of Richard R. Kennedy, you will have Richard Kennedy and Richard Kennedy III to represent you. Why is this important? Because you will know who is representing you; you know that we will keep you timely informed about your case and all the information you need for us to do our very best to get justice for you. When you call us, we answer your calls and we promptly answer your emails. The bottom line is simple: we and our clients 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.
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.