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3 common causes of roundabout accidents

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Car Crashes |

Roundabouts improve traffic flow and reduce the risk of serious accidents at intersections. In areas where roundabouts are appropriate for use, they tend to be convenient alternatives to a traditional traffic intersection.

However, despite their benefits, roundabouts can still be the site of collisions if drivers fail to navigate them safely. In Minnesota, like in many other places, roundabout accidents occur due to several common causes.

Failure to yield

One of the primary causes of roundabout accidents is the failure of drivers to yield to vehicles already in the circle. When approaching a roundabout, drivers must yield to both pedestrians and vehicles that have the right-of-way. Failing to yield can lead to side-impact collisions or even more severe accidents.

Incorrect lane usage

Another common cause of roundabout accidents is incorrect lane usage. Roundabouts typically have multiple entry and exit lanes, and drivers must choose the appropriate lane based on their intended exit. Accidents can occur when drivers enter the roundabout from the wrong lane or attempt to change lanes within the circle.


Excessive speed is a significant contributing factor to roundabout accidents. Drivers who enter roundabouts at high speeds have less time to react to other vehicles and pedestrians, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Speeding in a roundabout also reduces a driver’s ability to safely navigate the circle and can lead to loss of control or the inability to stop in time to avoid a collision.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation estimates that there are nearly 200 roundabouts across the state. While they are becoming a common sight, many drivers may be prone to experiencing an accident in a roundabout due to their unfamiliarity. You can keep yourself and others safe on the road by knowing what to expect in all situations.