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Do roundabouts / Rotary cause more accidents in RI and MA?

Roundabouts are typically called rotaries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  The history of rotaries in Massachusetts is a long and controversial one. Rotaries “proliferated in Massachusetts since the first was built in Yarmouth on Cape Cod in 1939, but construction of new rotaries was banned in the 1960s.”  “Roundabouts have become synonymous with odd hazardous lane changes, weird angles of entry and exit, and routinely being late for work. Most don’t know who is supposed to yield to whom when at a roundabout, so most drivers end up simply gunning it and hoping for the best as they merge into the traffic circling the central point to get where they are going. If you were injured in a Rhode Island or Massachusetts rotary accident then call Rhode Island personal injury attorney, David Slepkow.

Accidents at rotary roundabouts, also known as traffic circles or roundabouts, can vary in nature and severity. However, some common types of accidents that may occur at rotary roundabouts include:

  1. Side-swipe collisions:
    • These occur when two vehicles traveling in the same direction collide along their sides. This can happen if one vehicle attempts to change lanes within the roundabout without proper signaling or checking for other vehicles.
  2. Merge-related collisions:
    • Accidents may occur when vehicles attempt to enter the roundabout and merge into the circulating traffic. Failure to yield or misjudgments during merging can lead to collisions.
  3. Rear-end collisions:
    • These accidents happen when a vehicle stops suddenly within the roundabout, catching the following vehicle off guard. Rear-end collisions can result from sudden stops, hesitation, or distracted driving.
  4. Failure to yield accidents:
    • Drivers within the roundabout must yield to circulating traffic. Accidents can occur if a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to vehicles already in the roundabout.
  5. Pedestrian and cyclist incidents:
    • Accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists may occur if drivers fail to yield to them at crosswalks or if pedestrians/cyclists do not follow the designated paths.
  6. Multi-vehicle collisions:
    • In busy roundabouts, multiple vehicles may be involved in a single accident, often caused by a chain reaction initiated by one collision.
  7. Improper lane usage:
    • Some roundabouts have multiple lanes, and accidents can occur if drivers do not use the correct lane for their intended exit or if they change lanes within the roundabout.

To minimize the risk of accidents at rotary roundabouts, it’s important for drivers to be familiar with the rules of roundabout usage, exercise caution, use signals appropriately, and be aware of other road users. Additionally, proper road design, signage, and education efforts can contribute to safer roundabout navigation.

The case against rotaries | rotary accident

Many roundabout advocates will state a claim that rotaries are safer then conventional intersections because drivers must slow down and yield to motorists utilizing the rotary. In Chelmsford MA , local characters were so thrilled that a local rotary was removed they threw a  wild party.

“There is no nostalgia for the old rotary, none,” declared Terence F. Flahive, the president of Princeton Properties and the host of this week’s celebration of the rotary’s demise.” Id.  “In the mid-1990s, the state Highway Department began a campaign to eliminate rotaries where accident rates were highest, concluding that rotaries cannot accommodate modern traffic volumes. Under Governor Mitt Romney the anti rotary initiative has intensified. The highest-profile case is the Sagamore rotary at the gateway to Cape Cod, where the governor wants to build an overpass from Route 3 that would allow drivers to skip the summertime wait-and-weave ritual.” Id

“Although rotaries require more driver interaction than waiting for the light to turn green at conventional intersections, George Sanborn, reference librarian at the state Transportation Library, said that Massachusetts driving culture was probably the biggest reason that rotaries have fallen out of fashion.” People are used to high-speed travel,” Sanborn said. “They come roaring down the straightaway and realize they have to stop.” Instead of slowing down, though, drivers often ignore the state law that requires yielding to the person already in the rotary and plunge ahead, he said.Sometimes, the only human interaction might involve a blaring horn and an obscene gesture. “Massachusetts drivers are something else,” he said. “Everyone tries to take advantage.” id.

The case for rotaries

The other side of the rotary debate reasoned that rotaries  may need to be massaged a little or ripped out and replaced with a different type of circle, but it’s the one traffic solution that actually gets you accident reduction,” said Rich Schell of the design services bureau in the New York State Department of Transportation, who recently briefed Massachusetts highway officials on a rotary retrofit in West Springfield.” Id. “Roundabout advocates say that the big rotaries and traffic circles built in Massachusetts in the 1940s and ’50s are not well designed and that drivers try to use them while going too fast. The optimal design is compact and forces drivers to slow before entering.” Id

According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, a study reported that roundabouts reduced injury crashed by up to 80 percent and all vehicle crashes by 40 percent. A similar study performed a few years later would discover that there was a 75 percent decrease in injury crashes and 37 percent decrease in total crashes after an area was converted from traffic signals to roundabouts.

In some areas, traffic circles are helping ease the flow of traffic and offer some semblence of order at a chaotic time.

Roundabouts and circles across the world | rotary accident

Driving throughout North America, Latin America, and Europe tend to be a tad a bit problematic these days. Each continent has begun implementing various roundabouts or traffic circles in major cities and small towns, alike. Chances are if you drive in any one of these continents that you have come in contact with a roundabout that causes a bit of traffic backup. It sometimes slows everything down to a crawl and causes more problems than it fixes. France currently has over 20,000 roundabouts, while the United States only has around 2,000 since 1990.

Types of rotary accident in RI and MA

“Despite the fact that vehicles typically travel at lower rates of speed through residential neighborhoods, crashes that happen at traffic circles can still cause major vehicle damage and severe injuries to drivers and passengers. Typically collisions at or near traffic circles have one of the following causes:

  • A driver attempts to navigate the traffic circle at a high rate of speed.
  • A driver goes around the traffic circle on the left side rather than staying to the right.
  • A driver does not yield to vehicles that are already navigating the circle.
  • A vehicle fails to turn and then crashes directly into the traffic circle.” Injury trial lawyer   Speaking with AOL Autos, Pete Moraga, of the Insurance Information Network, said, “Roundabouts are big in Latin America and Europe but many people here don’t know how to deal with them. The lane changes are a little confusing for people. But studies show these reduce common types of crashes.”

 MA rotary car accidents | rotary accident

” The 49-year-old man was driving south on Interstate 93 around 1 p.m. when he took Exit 46 toward Route 110 at a high rate of speed and lost control of the Honda Accord, State Police said. Methuen police Capt. Randy Haggar said the car “hit the curbing and proceeded across the rotary into the center of the island, colliding with a sign post, some rocks and a pile of sand.” Methuen police working details on the state’s construction site at the rotary responded to the scene “within seconds,” and found the man “unresponsive,” and trapped in the vehicle, Haggar said. He was the only person in the vehicle. Methuen firefighters responded and were able to extricate the man from the vehicle. He was transported to Lawrence General Hospital by Methuen emergency medical services. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, police said.”  UPDATE: Beverly man, 49, dies from injuries received in Methuen rotary crash  Eagle tribune

“MEDFORD, MA – A State Trooper has been hospitalized with a severe leg injury after a motorcycle crash at Medford’s Wellington Circle, according to multiple reports.The trooper’s injuries are not life threatening, according to Channel 5. However, the trooper did sustain a serious leg injury, according to Channel 7 News. The driver has not been cited for wrongdoing, according to Channel 7. The trooper was brought to Mass General Hospital, according to reports. The trooper was on his motorcycle at the rotary when a car struck him, according to Channel 7. The two men in that car said the trooper was going the wrong way in the one-way rotary when they struck him, according to Channel 7. Reports said the trooper flew off his bike, landing about 15 feet away.” Patch

Rotary accident in MA and RI

The United States has recorded numerous crashes due to roundabouts. The majority of these stem from individuals who  not understand when to drive forward or merge into the roundabout itself. This often causes a backup,  and ends in insurance companies duking it out looking for fault.

“Despite the demonstrated safety benefits of roundabouts, some crashes still occur. An Institute study of crashes at 38 roundabouts in Maryland found that four crash types (run-off-road, rear-end, sideswipe, and entering-circulating) accounted for almost all crashes. 7 A common crash type at both single-lane and two-lane roundabouts involved vehicles colliding with the central island. These crashes, which often involved unsafe speeds, accounted for almost half of all single-vehicle run-off-road crashes. Collisions occurred more frequently at entrances to roundabouts than within the circulatory roadway or at exits. About three-quarters of the crashes involved property damage only. There were no right-angle or head-on collisions, potentially severe crash types that commonly occur at traditional intersections. The researchers concluded that unsafe speeds were an important crash factor. Some drivers may not have seen the roundabout in time to slow down sufficiently. A review of crashes at 39 roundabouts in the United States found that entering-circulating, exiting-circulating and rear-end collisions were the most common crash types. 3 A large majority of crashes at the single-lane roundabouts were entering-circulating crashes. At multi-lane roundabouts, the majority of crashes were exiting-circulating.”  iihs

Victims of car accidents in Rhode Island should immediately contact a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer who is also a RI car accident attorney. A top auto crash lawyer in Rhode Island will help you get the compensation that you are entitled to.