Who Is Responsible for Yielding at Traffic Circles?


Do you know when to yield at traffic circles? These circular intersections are becoming increasingly common in New York, so it’s essential to understand what to do when you encounter them. Here’s what you need to know about yielding the right of way at traffic circles and roundabouts.

Who Has the Right of Way at Traffic Circles?

Knowing who has the right of way is essential for navigating traffic circles, also known as rotaries or roundabouts. The most important rule to remember is that cars already inside the circle have the right of way. This means that if you are approaching a traffic circle, you must yield to any vehicle that is already traveling within the circle.

Before you enter a traffic circle, always look to your left to see if any cars are coming. If you see a vehicle within the circle, you should stop or slow down and let it pass before you proceed. This keeps traffic flowing smoothly and prevents collisions.

What Is the Right of Way?

The right of way is a fundamental concept in driving that dictates who has the priority to proceed first in different traffic situations. Generally, right-of-way rules require drivers to yield to other vehicles in specific scenarios, like at stop signs, yield signs, and uncontrolled intersections.

For example, at a stop sign, you must give way to vehicles that arrived before you or those coming from your right in the event that you arrive at the same time. Similarly, at yield signs, you must slow down or stop to let oncoming traffic pass before you proceed. Understanding and following these rules is essential for safe driving and avoiding accidents.

Common Reasons for Accidents at Traffic Circles

Common Car Accident Injuries
Traffic circles are designed to improve traffic flow and prevent collisions, but accidents can still happen if drivers are not careful. Here are some common reasons accidents occur at these intersections:

  • Failure to Yield: One of the most common mistakes occurs when a driver does not yield to vehicles already in the circle. Entering a traffic circle without checking for or yielding to oncoming traffic can lead to preventable collisions.
  • Inattentive Driving: Distractions such as texting, eating, or adjusting the radio while driving around a traffic circle can take a driver’s focus away from the road and cause dangerous wrecks.
  • Lane Confusion: Some traffic circles have multiple lanes, and some drivers can get confused over which lane to use, especially if they’re unfamiliar with the area. If drivers choose the wrong lane or switch lanes abruptly without signaling, it can result in sideswipes or other types of accidents.
  • Poor Visibility: Accidents can also occur if drivers fail to adjust accordingly to poor weather conditions like fog or rain or because of poorly designed signage or lighting around the circle.
  • Speeding: Driving too fast through a traffic circle makes it hard to react to other motorists’ movements and increases the risk of losing control. Maintaining a low to moderate speed is best for safely navigating through traffic circles.

Contact our New York City Car Accident Lawyers for Help

Are you dealing with injuries from a traffic circle accident? It’s important to act quickly to protect your rights. Finz & Finz, P.C. can provide the assistance you need. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and how we can seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us now to get started.