Why Roundabouts May Be DangerousNovember 4, 2020 | Category: Automobile Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Truck Accidents | Share
On October 6, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) investigated a roundabout accident in The Villages. A golf cart driver suffered a head injury in a collision with a car. The report said the golf cart was knocked on its side after colliding with an automobile that was navigating a roundabout at Morse Boulevard and El Camino Real. This is the same roundabout where an 89-year-old New Yorker was seriously injured in April 2020.
A Fort Myers accident lawyer said this is not the first accident that has happened in roundabouts in Florida. A moped driver and a car collided at a busy Sarasota roundabout earlier this year. Sarasota police reported the crash happened at the U.S. 41 and 10th Street roundabout.
A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that roundabouts are safer than traditional stop sign or signal-controlled intersections. Statistics showed that roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or signals were previously used for traffic control.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) also said that roundabouts reduce accidents and traffic congestion. FHWA showed there were 35 percent fewer accidents in traffic circles than traditional intersections, which resulted in a 90 percent decrease in fatalities and a 75 percent decrease in injuries nationwide.
Roundabouts may cause fewer accidents than intersections, but a Fort Myers accident lawyer believes motorists need to avoid unsafe driving practices when traveling through them. Unsafe driving practices, such as those listed below, cause accidents in roundabouts:
- Speeding – Motorists must reduce their speed when approaching a traffic circle and while in it.
- Not using the correct lane – Obeying the roadside signs installed to guide drivers is critical, especially when a roundabout has more than one lane.
- Stopping while in the circle – Roundabouts are designed to have continuous movement within the circle. It is dangerous not to keep moving.
- Not yielding to bicyclists and pedestrians – Bicyclists and pedestrians often use roundabouts with other traffic. It is critical that motorists be undistracted and aware of those with whom they are sharing the roundabouts.
- Not using turn signals when exiting a roundabout or changing lanes – It is important that drivers stay in their lanes once they are in the roundabout. If they are unable to access their exit from a roundabout, it is safer to stay in the roundabout and go around again before trying to exit.
- Not giving larger vehicles sufficient space or trying to pass them in a roundabout – It is extremely dangerous to try to pass a larger vehicle, like a truck, while in a roundabout. Large trucks also may require more space in the roundabout lane. A car accident lawyer says motorists should be aware of this and drive safely.
- Clear the roundabout for emergency vehicles – Emergency vehicles need to move through roundabouts quickly. Other motorists in the roundabout must yield to them.
Southwest Florida already has several roundabouts and is constructing and reviewing more. One such project is a roundabout for the intersection of Gunnery Road and Buckingham Road in Buckingham. This is a dangerous intersection where 10 crashes happened in 2019. Design for the roundabout is underway with the hope of having it done by fall 2021. The county is asking for the public’s input on the project.
“If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, please contact the Fort Myers accident lawyers at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. after seeking medical attention. We are available 24/7, and there are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you. We provide personal contact and aggressive representation,” said Fort Myers Accident Lawyer Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Accident Lawyer Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.