Roundabout Laws and Safety in Texas

roundabout laws and safety in TexasDrivers in North Texas have seen an increase in road changes, new additions, and express ways since construction started years ago. These new features on Texas roads have promoted efficiency in driving, safety, and a shorter commute time from point A to point B. One of these features that have been added is the roundabout.

In an intersection, a roundabout is a circular road area designed for vehicles to drive through the intersection or turn without having to completely stop. Due to the fact that there are no traffic lights in intersections with roundabouts, it is entirely up to drivers to know when to go, slow, or stop. Roundabouts have become more common because of their ability to move traffic without general delays.

Although roundabouts have great advantages, car accidents can occur if one is not careful. Rear-end accidents, T-bone accidents, and even head-on collision accidents can occur if all drivers do not properly drive on a roundabout and what should have been just passing-through an intersection could turn into a trip to the hospital. At the Anderson Law Firm, we have seen how irresponsible drivers turn an otherwise ordinary driving procedure into a painful car accident.

Roundabout Laws in Texas

Roundabouts, like any other unique road feature, must be approached with great care. In order to avoid accidents in a roundabout, many police and fire departments suggest drivers follow roundabout laws.

These important safety laws and precautions include:

  1. Slow when approaching a roundabout. If the speed limit at a roundabout is 5 miles per hour, and you are traveling 35 miles per hour, slowing down is not an option, it’s a necessity. This avoids you hitting a vehicle inside of a roundabout and avoids your vehicle from swerving.
  2. Yield to traffic inside of the roundabout. Vehicles that are already inside of the roundabout have the right of way. This means that vehicles that are approaching a roundabout cannot speed and “cut” in front of a vehicle that is already making their circular turn.
  3. Use your turn signals. Turn signals are important in both stages of the roundabout (entering and exiting). When you slow to enter a roundabout, make sure to turn your signal on. When you are going to exit, use your turn signal on time - don’t wait until the last minute so vehicles behind you have enough time to slow.
  4. Avoid changing lanes. When you are already inside a roundabout, changing lanes should be avoided in order to avoid confusion and an accident. Due to the short distance inside of a roundabout, it is best to stay in your lane until you are to exit.
  5. Watch for pedestrians. There may be pedestrians near a roundabout. Following proper pedestrian signs and road markings can ensure the safety of all people at a roundabout, whether they are in a vehicle or they are walking.

Roundabouts require correct driving behaviors from all drivers in order for the safety of everyone to be ensured. Driving through a roundabout is a very simple process, yet drivers that are not concentrated or are distracted can easily cause an accident, which leads to the following point.

How to Drive Safe in a Roundabout

roundabout laws and safety in Texas

There are several tips and suggestions that drivers can follow that can help their roundabout experience go smooth and without trouble.These tips include:

  • Pay attention. Although drivers should already be paying attention, it is important for drivers to not be on their phones and pay full attention to the task ahead.
  • Don’t rush the process. As previously mentioned, approaching a roundabout in a slow and safe manner is important. You don’t want to rear-end another driver, and you wouldn’t want another driver to rear-end you, so the advice is for all parties involved; slow down.
  • Yielding is key. Making sure you yield properly is important in following the roundabout procedure. If there is a car already in the roundabout, you must yield to them. If there are two lanes that lead to a roundabout, the vehicle on the left lane has the right of way. Yield to pedestrians that are near a roundabout.

There are other tips that drivers can follow to ensure that they and all other drivers have a safe roundabout experience. Roundabouts are meant to increase efficiency and safety, not to cause accidents.

Roundabout accidents, although they may appear to be insignificant, can actually hold painful injuries. These injuries can range from back pain to multiple broken bones. It is very important for all drivers to maintain safe driving before entering a roundabout, inside of a roundabout, and exiting a roundabout. Being courteous to other drivers helps make sure that no one will suffer painful injuries from an unnecessary wreck.

Due to the lack of traffic lights, the burden of safety relies on all drivers that are inside of a roundabout. Even if you are late somewhere or are in a hurry, making the decision to slow down and follow proper roundabout procedures can make sure that you get to your destination without 

Injured in a Roundabout Accident?

If you were injured in a roundabout because of another driver’s negligence, you have rights. You may be entitled to compensation to pay for accident-related expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. Don’t let the other driver get away with hitting your car and causing you to suffer painful injuries. Contact the Anderson Law Firm today.

As was previously mentioned, the safety of passing through a roundabout without an accident and injury relies on all drivers that are inside of a roundabout. When a driver believes they do not have to follow the same safety rules as the other drivers, an accident can occur. Driving safely is a responsibility that all drivers must follow in order for the safety of a roundabout (and any other road feature) to be ensured. If you were injured in a roundabout accident, please do not relent in giving us a call today to discuss your options as the injured victim of a car accident.

Mark A. Anderson
Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas