You weren’t sure about the roundabout in Overland Park when it first went in, but now that you’ve been around it a few times, it seems a lot faster and more efficient than a regular four-way intersection. However, that’s only the case when other drivers know how to use it properly—and after a few close calls, you’re wondering if it might be safer to avoid the roundabout altogether.
How Can I Tell Who Is at Fault in a Roundabout Car Accident?
While there are now over two-dozen roundabouts in the Kansas City area alone, it seems like very few drivers know how to use them properly. Unfortunately, drivers who don’t know how to use the roundabout are more likely to be nervous or make last-minute lane changes that result in a car accident—leaving both drivers involved in the crash wondering who was at fault.
Here are a few questions you should consider after an accident occurs in a roundabout.
Who Had the Right of Way?
Just as with most motor vehicle accidents, you are more likely to have a successful claim if you had the right of way at the time of the crash. In a roundabout, the person who is already in the traffic circle has the right of way. All other drivers must stop and wait their turn before pulling into a roundabout, so if someone attempted to “beat you” around the circle by pulling ahead, he is likely liable for the accident.
Was There a Rear-End Collision?
While it is not always true that the car that struck another vehicle from behind is always at fault, it is more likely that a following vehicle is to blame in a roundabout car accident. Following distances are shortened in a roundabout, with cars only a few feet away from one another. If a following vehicle is speeding or not maintaining a safe distance, it may be unable to stop if the car ahead needs to brake suddenly.
Was Someone Changing Lanes?
This is one of the cases where following cars may be the ones with a successful accident claim. In a multi-lane roundabout, drivers should know which lane will get them to their destination before they enter. If they discover they are in the wrong lane and attempt to swerve back into the roundabout, they may cause a pileup behind them.
Victims who are involved in a roundabout crash should always take pictures of the damage and gather as many witnesses as possible before leaving the scene. Evidence is key in proving your case if your insurance claim is denied, and the evidence will begin to disappear just minutes after the accident takes place.
If you were too injured to gather evidence after your car accident, you should contact an experienced car injury attorney as soon as possible to have him collect evidence on your behalf. Our attorneys can help with tracking down witnesses, getting copies of police reports, and examining any traffic camera video that confirms your story. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.