Who Is Liable In A Roundabout Accident?
Roundabouts are popping up on streets and roads throughout Florida as a way to reduce speeding and increase the flow of traffic. According to FDOT, roundabouts have resulted in a 14 to 46 percent reduction in all accidents and an 80% reduction in serious injuries and fatalities. Experts believe that roundabouts lead to fewer accidents because they create a better traffic flow. In our experience, however, roundabouts can be confusing – especially to drunk or impaired drivers.
Rules Relating to Roundabouts in Florida
Even though the United States of America has increasingly adopted the roundabout in the last few decades, many motorists still do not understand roundabout laws. Many drivers are, to this day, confused about what to do in a roundabout. The following are some of the basic rules that relate to roundabouts in Florida;
- A driver is required to slow down as they approach a roundabout
- A motorist is supposed to yield to pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists
- A vehicle approaching the roundabout that has not already entered the roundabout is required to yield the right of way to cars that are already in the roundabout
- A driver is required to use their signals as they would in any intersection
- A driver should not stop in the roundabout
- A driver should stay in their lane until they exit the roundabout
Common Causes of Roundabout Accidents
Engaging in unsafe driving practices is the most common cause of roundabout accidents. Below are some unsafe driving practices that result in roundabout accidents;
- Not using the correct lane
- Not yielding to pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists
- Stopping while in the roundabout
- Failing to use signals when exiting a roundabout or changing lanes
- Not yielding to other vehicles
- Distracted driving
Determining Liability in a Roundabout Accident
Generally, determining liability in a roundabout accident is like determining liability in any other accident. The individual that acted negligently and caused the crash is liable for the accident. Therefore, if you were injured in a Florida roundabout accident and want to recover damages from the other driver, you must prove that they acted negligently and caused your injuries. For example, if you were already in the circle and then the other driver tried to “beat you” around it by pulling ahead, they will likely be held liable for your accident.
How Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law Impacts Liability in Roundabout Cases
Florida uses the comparative negligence rule in accident cases, including roundabout accident cases. This law requires that fault be apportioned to all parties involved in an accident based on percentages. Therefore, this means that, when determining liability, both your fault and that of the other driver will be taken into consideration. If, for example, it is determined that you were improperly changing lanes at the time of your accident, you will also be considered at fault.
Contact a Plantation Car Accident Lawyer
If you were in a Florida roundabout accident and need help pursuing a claim, contact our Plantation car accident lawyers at Lyons & Snyder to discuss your case.