Roundabouts are designed to reduce traffic congestion and make our roads safer. Florida has adopted them widely, so there are about 300 roundabouts on Florida roads and 20 on highways across the state. Unlike intersections, roundabouts don’t use road signs and full stops. Instead, drivers yield right of way, improving the flow of traffic.
While studies have shown that roundabouts reduce the risk of accidents, motorists are sometimes intimidated by them and aren’t sure how to drive safely through a roundabout. We’ve created this guide to help you.
Using Roundabouts Safely
When entering a roundabout, look for the flow of traffic and yield. It is safe to enter when vehicles are in another quadrant of the roundabout (not in the same section as you). As you enter the roundabout, you need to yield to traffic already in the roundabout. You must also yield to pedestrians and bicyclists at crosswalks.
In the roundabout, you need to select your lane based on where you are going to exit. If you are going forward through the roundabout and exiting in the section directly in front of you, you can use either lane. If you’re heading right, use the outer lane. If you’re turning left, use the inner lane.
If you’re a bicyclist entering a roundabout, you have two options. You can walk your bike across and use the sidewalks while rolling your bike alongside you. Or, you can yield to existing traffic, just like any driver and enter the roundabout as you would in a car.
Sometimes, emergency vehicles need to use a roundabout. If you’re about to enter a roundabout when an ambulance, fire truck, or other emergency vehicle is about the enter the roundabout with lights flashing, the safest option is to pull over to the right, before the roundabout, to let the emergency vehicle through. If you’re already in the roundabout, pull into the closest exit to get out of the way.
What Should You Do If You’re Injured in a Roundabout Accident?
If you’re in Hollywood, Homestead, or any Florida community and are in an accident in a roundabout, stay calm. If the accident has resulted in serious injuries, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, get out of the way of oncoming traffic to prevent a chain-reaction.
Try to avoid getting in a discussion about who is at fault. In a roundabout accident in Hollywood and other communities, different drivers may have different ideas about right of way. Instead, focus on getting information about the accident. Take photos of the scene and surrounding area with your phone and get insurance and contact information for the other driver as well as the contact information of any possible witnesses.
You may also want to speak to a Hollywood roundabout accident claims attorney about your case to make sure you seek the fairest compensation for your injuries and losses. You can call us 24/7 at Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 to speak to a live person. In a free, no obligation consultation we can address your questions and help you understand whether you have a claim. You can also always contact us online.