Roundabout accident compensation claim
Who should give way at roundabouts?
You may be thinking that this is an easy question. Traffic should always give way to other traffic approaching from the right. It’s in the highway code.
That’s very true, but a recent case conducted by Levenes Solicitors illustrates that this is not the whole story.
Our client, Mrs K, was cycling towards an island. As she got to the give way line, she saw that to her right there was a stationary car at the give way line further back as well as a car already on the island to the right of that car.
She judged that the stationary car was not going to pull away because of the approaching car to his right because he would have to give way to that approaching car and that this second car was far enough away that there was plenty of time for her to continue on to the island. Having made that judgment of the relative positions of the other vehicles in the vicinity, she cycled on to the island.
Suddenly, she was hit by the car which had been stationary. Instead of giving way to the car approaching from his right, as Mrs K had expected, the driver of the stationary car had suddenly accelerated from a standing start crossing in front of the approaching car and then colliding with Mrs K.
The driver of the car had paid full attention to the car coming from his right, and had made the decision to go and accelerated rapidly because otherwise there would have been a collision with that car. When he decided to do this, he forgot to think about the possibility that there may be someone on the island already ahead of him.
Rule 185 of the Highway Code
When reaching the roundabout you should:-
- give priority to traffic approaching from your right, unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights
- check whether road markings allow you to enter the roundabout without giving way. If so, proceed, but still look to the right before joining
- watch out for all other road users already on the roundabout; be aware they may not be signalling correctly or at all
- look forward before moving off to make sure traffic in front has moved off.
Accident with cyclist on roundabout
On behalf of Mrs K we made a claim against the driver. His insurers at first refused to accept any liability arguing that it was Mrs K who was to blame for failing to give way to his car. If you read only the first part of rule 185 you might agree that they had a point.
Our counter argument for Mrs K was that he forgot to look out for someone already on the island.
We issued proceedings against the driver but before the case reached trial a compromise was agreed, which took in to account the risk to both sides of how the court might decide the case.
These cases are all decided on their individual facts. The size of the roundabout and timings of the party’s arrival at the junction, and relative speeds are all relevant factors.
In this case, Mrs K secured a settlement because Levenes refused to give way to the insurer’s arguments!
Cycling accident claims
Our specialist lawyers can help cyclists involved in an accident recover compensation. You will need expert advice on what action you can take to obtain accident compensation. You can trust in the experience and knowledge of our team of professional cycling injury lawyers to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to.