Fault in a Roundabout? Car Accidents in Kansas City

If you or a loved one suffered injuries after a roundabout accident in Missouri, talk to a Kansas City car accident attorney at Dickerxon Oxton, LLC today. Roundabouts are circular shaped parts of roads that keep traffic flowing without a stoplight, but some drivers don’t seem to know when or how to navigate them. Deciphering fault when a car accident occurs in a roundabout can be complex.

How to Properly Use Roundabouts

Kansas City streets are home to over two dozen roundabouts, with many more in the surrounding areas. While roundabouts typically improve traffic, not every driver knows how to utilize or drive around one properly. When approaching a roundabout, a driver should:

  • Choose a lane. Drivers need to know where they’re going and determine the correct lane to use.
  • Yield to traffic. Vehicles driving around the roundabout do not yield to those entering.
  • Keep your speed around 20 mph. There is no need to speed when driving in a roundabout. It only increases the chances of an accident.
  • Stay away from trucks. Trucks are large vehicles. It may be hard for a truck driver to see a car driving next to it.
  • Do not block emergency vehicles. This one is a given, but never prevent emergency vehicles such as ambulances or fire trucks in any road space, including roundabouts, from driving.

Are Roundabouts Actually Safer?

Roundabouts reduce the number of places where drivers could potentially collide, known as conflict points, by 60% when compared to traditional intersections with traffic signals, according to MoDOT. While roundabouts are safer than intersections with signal lights, it doesn’t mean accidents can’t happen. If a person gets into a car accident in a roundabout, it is important to consider a few factors.

  • Which car had the right of way? Like many car accidents, auto insurance recovery claims for accidents in roundabouts are more likely to be successful for the person who had the right of way. Any driver approaching the roundabout should yield, so a person who pulls out in front of a vehicle is responsible for an accident.
  • Did a car rear-end mine? When it comes to roundabout car accidents that involve a rear-end collision, it is more likely that the vehicle that rear-ended another car is at fault. Following distances of cars are shorter in roundabouts since vehicles are always moving. If a driver is speeding or driving too closely to another vehicle, it could lead to a rear-end collision if the other car brakes.
  • Did a car change lanes? In roundabouts with multiple lanes, drivers should enter the lane that will get them to the correct exit. If a driver realizes he or she is in an exit lane and attempts to rejoin the roundabout traffic, it could cause a pileup.

What to Do After a Roundabout Accident in Kansas City

Drivers who find themselves in a roundabout car accident should first get themselves and their vehicles to a safe area if possible and get medical care.

Then, a person in a roundabout car accident should:

  • Take photos of the damage. Evidence is vital in filing an insurance claim, so take a couple of pictures of your car from different angles.
  • Gather witness statements. Evidence is critical in filing an insurance claim. Ask witnesses to write down a description of the accident.
  • Contact an experienced lawyer. Car injury lawyers deal with accidents daily; they can help people in roundabout accidents get recovery for their insurance claims.

Your Kansas City personal injury lawyer will handle most of the work of interviewing witnesses, obtaining police reports, and acquiring traffic camera footage that can corroborate a claim. If you need legal help after a roundabout accident, contact the team at Dickerson Oxton, LLC.