The new roundabout at Riverside Drive and State Route 161 in Dublin, Ohio has been a major source of confusion and accidents since it opened in summer 2016. While these circular intersections are typically seen as traffic calming tools and promote safety, they can cause problems when poorly designed or for those who are unsure how roundabouts work.
What Is the Issue with the Riverside Drive and SR 161 Roundabout?
The number of accidents in the Riverside Drive at SR 161 roundabout surprised public safety officials. Police even stationed an officer at the intersection to ticket drivers who failed to follow traffic laws in an attempt to cut down on the crashes in the roundabout.
It seems breaking the law is not the issue as much as confusion about how to navigate the roundabout. Drivers fail to slow down entering, do not maintain their lane around the roundabout, and make sudden lane changes to exit. Any of these mistakes — most of which are born out of uncertainty and confusion — can cause an accident if the driver is not careful to check for traffic.
The problems with navigating this roundabout were apparent early on. It opened in August of 2016, and a November 2016 report from ABC6 showed police responding to 44 crashes and issuing 48 tickets during that time period. Police issued more tickets for failure to yield than any other offense. At the time, public officials hoped the numbers would drop.
But a year later, the crashes have continued. Between November 2016 and August 2017, police responded to another 166 accidents.
In August 2017, a 10TV report announced the City of Dublin would reconfigure the roundabout. The City’s primary concern was the confusing approach when heading northbound.
As originally designed, the right and middle lanes around the roundabout were shared through lanes. This means the driver in either lane could choose to go straight or to exit at any point in the roundabout. The new redesign will only allow a driver to either go straight or exit, depending on the lane.
How Should I Navigate the Redesigned Roundabout in Dublin, Ohio?
With the new roundabout design, it should be clear where each lane takes you:
- A left through lane
- A center through lane
- A dedicated right turn/exit lane
In general, you will enter the roundabout and remain in the right lane if you need to take the first exit and turn right. The second exit will allow you to continue through the roundabout. The third exit would be to make a “left turn” (i.e., use the third exit in the roundabout). Lastly, you will use the fourth exit — the same place you entered — if you need to make a U-turn. You may use the left or center lane if you need to exit at the second, third, or fourth exit.
What Are Some Safety Tips to Reduce the Risk of a Crash in a Dublin, OH, Roundabout?
There are some things you can do to avoid an accident or near-miss while navigating a roundabout. To get through a roundabout safely, do the following:
When you approach the roundabout, you will need to slow down considerably. In many cases, you may even need to stop to wait for a chance to enter the roundabout. Even if there is no other traffic, you will want to slow down to no more than 20 to 30 miles per hour. You cannot safely navigate a roundabout at moderate or high speeds.
Yield to Traffic Already in the Roundabout
The traffic already in the roundabout has the right of way, so be sure you do not try to dart in when you do not have the space to do so. Come to a stop, if necessary, and wait for an opening in traffic.
Choose the Best Lane
Choose the best lane for you based on when you need to exit. For example, if you are taking the first exit and turning right, you would want to remain in the right lane. If you know you need to make a U-turn, you may choose the left through lane. After choosing a lane, limit your lane changes when possible to reduce the risk of an accident.
Once you are in the roundabout, you have the right of way. Keep moving, or another driver could hit you from behind. Choosing the correct lane makes it less likely you will need to stop or even slow down significantly in the roundabout.
When you get to your exit, continue moving and exit the roundabout.
What Should I Do If I Am in an Accident in a Dublin Roundabout?
Most roundabout accidents occur because someone failed to yield the right-of-way, changed lanes without looking, or stopped suddenly. If you suffered injuries or property damage because another driver engaged in any of these careless driving behaviors, you may be eligible to file a claim to collect compensation to cover your bills and pain and suffering.
At Bressman Law, we know what it takes to get you the money you need after a Dublin, Ohio roundabout car accident. Call us at 877-538-1116 for a free consultation.