When two or more roads come to a meeting point, there are commonly traffic lights or stop signs to mark the intersection. These signals and signs work to ensure that you understand to stop your vehicle and check for oncoming traffic or other vehicles with the right of way before proceeding into the intersection. Of course, not everyone heeds the directions, and crashes are common at these crossings.
Some studies indicate that roundabouts actually offer a safer alternative to standard intersections. While this method of road construction is becoming more common in West Virginia and other parts of the country, it can still be nerve wracking to use a roundabout when you may not have used one before or if you have only rarely used them.
What to know
Though roundabouts may be more efficient than traditional intersections, accidents can still take place if individuals do not know how to properly enter, travel through and exit the circle. If you feel a bit of anxiety when it comes to using a roundabout, you may want to remember the following tips:
- Traffic already in the circle has the right of way. You should yield to that traffic before entering the circle from a side street.
- Traffic in the circle travels at a slow, steady speed. You should keep your speed slow and refrain from stopping while in the circle.
- Entrances and exits to the roundabout are placed around the circle. Therefore, if you enter the roundabout then accidentally drive past your exit road, you can simply continue in the circle until you reach your desired road again.
- Most roundabouts have only one lane. However, if a circle does have more than one lane, choose the correct lane to reach your exit and stay in that lane.
If roundabouts are new to you, you may feel hesitant to use them or even think they will cause more traffic issues than intersections. However, you may come to realize that traffic travels more quickly through roundabouts and accidents are less likely.
Accidents can still happen
Of course, though crashes at roundabouts are less likely than at traditional intersections, they can still take place. If another driver causes a crash that leads to your suffering serious injuries, you may want to consider your legal options for seeking compensation for damages allowed under state law.