Everything to Know About Roundabout Car Accident Claims

Key Points:

  • City planners increasingly favor roundabouts for their safety benefits, although accidents still occur. Roundabouts are not immune from severe car accidents.
  • Traffic laws play a key role in determining fault in roundabout incidents, but establishing liability is not always straightforward.
  • Injuries can be the most difficult to prove in a car accident legal claim, due to the slower speeds and minimal vehicle damage.

Injured in a Roundabout Accident?

Roundabouts are increasingly recognized by city planners, especially in Atlanta, as superior alternatives to traditional intersections with traffic lights or stop signs. Their design not only facilitates smoother traffic flow by minimizing stop-and-go traffic but also significantly lowers the risk of fatal accidents by reducing vehicle speeds and ensuring a uniform direction of travel. This effectively eliminates head-on collisions and greatly diminishes the likelihood of T-bone accidents. When accidents do occur in roundabouts, they are typically side-swipe or rear-end collisions, which are generally less severe. However, it’s important to note that roundabouts are not without risks, as not all drivers are proficient in navigating them, and reckless behaviors like speeding can lead to injuries.

Acknowledging these safety features and challenges, our legal team specializes in advocating for victims of roundabout-related incidents, leveraging our experience to secure and maximize compensation. We provide strategic advice for managing claims associated with these types of accidents. The adoption of roundabouts, fueled by their ability to enhance traffic efficiency and reduce accident severity, demonstrates their growing appeal and the multifaceted benefits they offer to urban traffic systems.

Why Roundabouts Are Becoming More Popular: The Benefits

Roundabouts are increasing in popularity due to the following reasons:

  • Safety: Roundabouts make roads safer because they slow cars down and don’t have crossing traffic. This means there are fewer fast crashes.
  • Traffic Flow: Cars keep moving in roundabouts, which helps avoid the start-stop traffic you get with regular traffic lights.
  • Environmental Benefits: Roundabouts help the environment by reducing the time cars spend idling, which cuts down on air pollution and saves gas.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Even though roundabouts might cost more at first, they end up being cheaper in the long run because they don’t need as much upkeep or electricity as traffic lights do.
  • Aesthetics and Land Use: Roundabouts can make an area look nicer with green spaces and fit into different city layouts better than regular intersections.
  • Pedestrian Safety: It’s safer for people walking to cross streets at roundabouts because the crosswalks are farther from the traffic circle, making it easier to decide when to cross.
  • Adaptability: Roundabouts work well in many places, from the countryside to the city, and they’re good for everyone, including people biking.
  • Public Perception: As more people learn how good roundabouts are, they start to like them more.

What Type of Accidents Happen at Roundabouts?

Due to roundabouts naturally forcing cars into one direction, the types of accidents that can happen are reduced in variety to the following:

  • Side-Swipe Accidents: Happen when two cars in the roundabout brush against each other’s sides, often because one car changed lanes without looking or signaling.
  • Rear-End Crashes: Occur when one car is too close behind another and doesn’t stop in time, bumping into the car in front when it slows down to exit.
  • Right Angle (Entering Collisions): These take place when a car entering the roundabout doesn’t wait for cars already inside, leading to a crash with those who have the right of way.
  • Exiting Accidents: When a car tries to leave the roundabout and accidentally hits another car because it didn’t see the other car coming.
  • Single-Car Incidents: Involve only one car that may crash into the roundabout curb, signs, or barriers, usually because the driver was going too fast or lost control.
  • Pedestrian and Biker Incidents: Although rare, these can happen at roundabout crossings if cars don’t stop for people walking or biking across.

Liability in Roundabout Accidents

When it comes to identifying which driver is responsible or liable, or at-fault for the accident, with roundabout accidents it can seem fairly simple.

How is Fault Usually Determined in a Roundabout Accident?

The determination of fault in roundabout accidents varies based on the accident type. For failure-to-yield incidents, the driver entering the roundabout is typically deemed at fault for not yielding to traffic already circulating within the roundabout, although exceptions can occur. In rear-end collisions, the following vehicle may be found responsible, often due to insufficient spacing, speeding, distraction, or misjudgment of the lead vehicle’s speed. Sideswipe accidents in multi-lane roundabouts usually implicate the driver who improperly changed lanes or failed to signal. While these guidelines offer a general framework for understanding fault, each accident’s specific circumstances may lead to different outcomes, underscoring the importance of considering the unique aspects of every incident.

Can Multiple Parties be At-Fault in a Roundabout Accident?

In Georgia, when accidents happen in roundabouts, it’s possible for more than one person to be considered responsible. This could happen if, for example, two drivers both try to enter the roundabout at the same time without yielding to each other, or if they both try to change lanes incorrectly at the same time. A common situation is when one driver is either speeding or driving too aggressively in the roundabout while another driver doesn’t properly yield before entering. With added issues like distracted or aggressive driving, figuring out who is at fault can get pretty complicated. This shows that figuring out who is responsible in roundabout accidents isn’t always straightforward.

How do Insurance Companies Assess Fault in Roundabout Accidents?

Insurance companies assess fault in roundabout accidents by examining several factors: adherence to right-of-way rules, evidence of any traffic violations (such as failing to yield or improper lane changes), the presence and actions of witnesses, physical damage to the vehicles, and any available traffic or surveillance camera footage. They also consider reports from law enforcement and statements from the drivers involved. The specific details of the accident, such as the point of impact and the drivers’ behavior, play crucial roles in determining fault.

Can Speeding Factor into Liability in a Roundabout Accident?

Smaller roundabouts may not display speed limits due to the design naturally reducing vehicle speed. In contrast, larger, multi-lane roundabouts often have posted speed limits. Absence of a specific speed limit doesn’t permit speeding; the general road speed limit applies. Witnesses perceiving a driver as speeding might label the behavior as aggressive driving, influencing fault determination in accidents. Such a driver could be partially or entirely blamed based on perceived aggressive actions.

How Does a Car Accident Lawyer Assess Fault in a Roundabout Accident?

A car accident attorney assessing fault in a roundabout collision thoroughly reviews all evidence, including adherence to roundabout regulations, statements from eyewitnesses, and any surveillance videos. They inspect damage to the vehicles and police reports. Key considerations include whether drivers respected roundabout protocols such as yielding and signaling. Additionally, the lawyer evaluates if any actions, like speeding or reckless behavior, contributed to the incident, aiming to build a compelling argument regarding liability.

Georgia Laws Traffic Laws for Roundabout Accidents

Identifying who broke which traffic laws within the roundabout car accident can also help the authorities identify who is liable or responsble for the accident. Here are the common laws that are broken in roundabout accidents.

Failure to Yield

Georgia’s failure to yield law, GA Code § 40-6-72, mandates drivers to yield the right of way at stop or yield signs and when entering roadways. In roundabouts, this means drivers must yield to traffic already in the roundabout. Failure to follow this rule can result in accidents and liability for not yielding. This law is crucial for determining fault in roundabout collisions.

Roundabout Car Accident Lawsuit

Improper Lane Changes

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-48, relating to driving within lanes on roadways, is relevant to roundabout accidents as it requires drivers to maintain their vehicle within a single lane and only change lanes when it can be done safely. In roundabouts, this law underscores the importance of staying in the correct lane while navigating the circle and making sure to follow proper signaling and lane-changing rules to avoid collisions. This ensures smooth traffic flow and reduces the risk of accidents within the roundabout.


Georgia Code § 40-6-181, which sets maximum speed limits, applies to roundabout accidents by establishing lawful speeds. If a driver exceeds these limits in or near a roundabout and causes an accident, this violation can indicate fault. Speeding can demonstrate negligence, making the speeding driver potentially liable for damages or injuries resulting from the collision.

Aggressive Driving

Georgia Code § 40-6-397, addressing aggressive driving, can be applied to roundabout accidents when a driver’s behavior—such as speeding excessively, making unsafe lane changes, or other actions intended to intimidate or obstruct—leads to a collision. Demonstrating intent to harass or endanger others through these actions in a roundabout could result in an aggressive driving charge, influencing fault determination in the incident.

Following Too Closely or Tailgating

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-49 is relevant to roundabout car accidents as it emphasizes the need for drivers to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. In roundabouts, where vehicles navigate in a circular flow and may slow down unexpectedly to exit, following too closely increases the risk of rear-end collisions. Adhering to this law is crucial for preventing accidents and ensuring smooth traffic flow within roundabouts.

Injuries from Roundabout Accidents

Common injuries in roundabout accidents can include whiplash, due to sudden stopping or rear-end impacts, concussions or other traumatic brain injuries from head impacts, broken bones, especially from side-impact collisions, and soft tissue injuries such as bruises or sprains. The circular design and yielding requirements of roundabouts can sometimes lead to confusion and abrupt maneuvers, increasing the risk of such injuries.

What Challenges do Car Accident Lawyers Experience When Proving Injuries from Roundabout Accidents?

Linking the Type of Accident to the Injury

Challenges in proving roundabout accident injuries specifically involve linking the collision directly to the injuries claimed. This includes detailing how the unique dynamics of a roundabout collision (e.g., side impacts causing joint and muscle injuries, or abrupt stops leading to whiplash) are directly responsible for the specific injuries.

Proving Injuries When Speed Was Minimal

While speed may be a factor, roundabouts typically involve slower-moving accidents. With today’s advanced vehicle safety features and airbag technology, proving injuries from such lower-speed collisions becomes more challenging for car accident lawyers. This difficulty in establishing a direct link between the accident and the injuries claimed is a significant obstacle in roundabout accident cases.

Proving Injuries When Vehicle Damage is Minimal

In roundabouts, due to one-way traffic flow and generally slower speeds, vehicle damage tends to be less severe, often limited to areas designed for impact like bumpers. This minimal damage can make it harder for auto insurance companies to acknowledge injuries, presenting a challenge in proving claims. However, skilled car accident lawyers can still successfully demonstrate the extent of injuries, despite these hurdles.

My case took 5 years to settle but once Justin got put on it I saw things get done. He is very friendly and professional and Millar is lucky to have him.

five stars
Douglas A.
linkedin icon