What You Should Know About Liability for a Roundabout Accident in Lafayette Parish

roundabout in a residential neighborhoodStatistics show roundabouts are much safer than traditional intersections, but accidents still happen. This is often because drivers are unsure about what they are supposed to do inside a roundabout.

If you were injured in a roundabout crash in Lafayette Parish, or elsewhere in Louisiana, you may have questions about liability and whether you can seek compensation for damages. Our experienced Lafayette-based auto accident lawyers discuss roundabout accidents below, including right-of-way rules and other factors affecting liability for collisions.

Our attorneys have been securing compensation for those injured in Louisiana auto accidents for decades. There are no upfront costs for our services and we do not get paid unless our clients receive compensation.

Galloway Jefcoat. Turning Wrong Into Right. Call: 337-984-8020.

What Exactly Is a Roundabout?

A roundabout consists of a center island where traffic travels around in a counterclockwise direction. There are no traffic lights. Vehicles approaching the roundabout must yield to traffic already inside the roundabout.

Are Roundabouts Safer Than Regular Intersections?

Roundabouts reduce traffic fatalities by 90 percent, injury crashes by 76 percent and pedestrian accidents by 30-40 percent, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Safety Benefits of Roundabouts

Roundabouts have many benefits that make them much safer than traditional intersections:

  • Roundabouts eliminate the possibility of head-on collisions
  • Roundabouts force drivers to slow down
  • It is easier to see oncoming traffic
  • Efficient flow of traffic, which means less oncoming traffic when entering roundabout
  • An efficient flow of traffic means drivers are less impatient – impatient drivers may be more likely to behave recklessly
  • Drivers cannot turn left, eliminating the possibility of a left-turn collision

Roundabouts in Lafayette Parish

Lafayette Parish already has several roundabouts, including those at:

  • 89 at Chemin Metairie Parkway
  • 89 at La. 92
  • 98 at La. 93
  • 93 at La. 342
  • 726 at I-49 (Hector Connely)
  • Bonin Road at East Milton Avenue (La. 92)
  • 92 at Chemin Metairie Parkway
  • 339 at La. 92

There are more roundabouts on the way in the next few years, including:

  • Robley Drive Extension at E. Broussard Road – construction is set to start in June 2024 and finish in June 2025, according to KPEL News
  • Broussard Road at Duhon Road – construction is set to begin in July 2024 and take one year to complete
  • Duhon Road at Ru Du Belier – construction is set to start in September 2024 and take two years to complete

Right-of-Way Laws For Roundabouts in Louisiana

There are a few things drivers need to remember about who has the right of way inside a roundabout:

  • You must yield to traffic already inside the roundabout
  • Never stop inside a roundabout, as traffic inside a roundabout should always be moving
  • Use your turn signal to indicate you are exiting the roundabout
  • You must yield to pedestrians and bicyclists waiting to cross the street
  • If you have enough time and space to safely enter the roundabout, you do not need to stop before doing so

Who May Be at Fault in a Rear-End Crash in a Louisiana Roundabout?

Rear-end crashes are some of the most common crashes that occur on roadways across the nation. The rear driver is often liable, whether the crash happens in a roundabout or anywhere else. Rear-end collisions often occur because drivers are distracted or following too closely, and they cannot slow down or stop in time to avoid crashing into the lead driver’s bumper.

However, some rear-end crashes in roundabouts are caused by the lead driver’s negligence. Drivers are often unsure of what to do in a roundabout or where they should go. They may slow down or even stop and oncoming drivers are not expecting this to happen. However, sometimes fault may be shared because the approaching driver may have had enough time to stop. In some cases, the incoming drivers may have been speeding, which may also make them partially at fault.

What Other Types of Wrecks Can Occur in a Roundabout?

Lane-change crashes can happen in multi-lane roundabouts as drivers are exiting a roundabout. They may forget to signal or even forget to check their blind spots. In these situations, the driver changing lanes is likely to be found at fault.

There are also roundabout accidents that occur as drivers enter a circle. Some drivers attempt to enter the circle even though another car is approaching. This can result in a head-on or side-impact collision. Even though both vehicles may not be going that fast, the impact could cause severe injuries. The driver who entered the roundabout is likely to be found at fault, as cars in the roundabout have the right of way.

Roundabouts are also meant to be safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, but there is still a risk of an accident occurring. For instance, even though pedestrians and bicyclists have the right of way at a designated crosswalk, approaching drivers might not look for them. Some drivers do not slow down as they approach the roundabout, which is why pedestrians and bicyclists need to be extra cautious about crossing the street.

Contact Galloway Jefcoat After a Roundabout Collision

Were you injured in a roundabout crash that was not your fault?

Galloway Jefcoat may be able to help you seek compensation to cover your medical expenses and various other damages you may be dealing with.

We understand this is a difficult time. We are here to answer your legal questions and guide you through the legal process.

Galloway Jefcoat. Turning Wrong Into Right. Call us at 337-984-8020.