The driver who is at fault in a roundabout accident is the driver who: (1) fails to yield the right of way to the circulating roundabout traffic; (2) unsafely changes lanes; and/or (3) stops his or her vehicle in the roundabout. All of these constitute negligent driving and the driver will be responsible for any car accident that results.
To learn tips and advice for safely navigating roundabouts, please check out our Michigan Roundabout Resource Center.
When are you at fault in a roundabout accident in Michigan?
A driver will be at fault in causing a roundabout accident if he or she: (1) fails to exercise the ordinary care that a reasonable careful driver would; (2) violates state and/or local traffic laws; and/or (3) rear-ends the victim’s vehicle. (Sources: M Civ JI 10.02; M Civ JI 12.01, 12.03 and 12.05; MCL 257.402(a))
Are you at fault in a roundabout accident if you fail to yield the right of way?
If a crash occurs because a driver fails to yield the right of way as he or she was entering a roundabout, then that driver is likely who is at fault in the roundabout accident. Drivers entering a roundabout must slow down and yield the right of way to the traffic that is already circulating in the roundabout.
Michigan law requires that as a driver approaches the yield sign posted at the entrance to a roundabout, he or she “shall slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and shall yield the right of way to a vehicle in the” roundabout. (MCL 257.649(6))
Depending on the circumstances, including the amount of roundabout traffic that is already circulating (and which has the right of way), a driver who is attempting to enter a roundabout may need to stop briefly until a safe gap opens up in the traffic.
Can you be at fault in a roundabout accident if you improperly change lanes?
When a roundabout crash occurs because a driver improperly changes lanes, then that driver will be at fault for any roundabout accident that results. Make sure to always select the correct lane before entering a roundabout and never change lanes while traveling within the roundabout.
Generally, roundabouts with multiple lanes will have signs guiding drivers as to which lanes to select based on their destination – i.e., turning right immediately, continuing straight ahead, or ultimately turning left.
Michigan’s law requires that a car or truck being driven in a roundabout “shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until the operator has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety.” (MCL 257.642(1))
What happens if you stop in a roundabout and cause an accident?
If a car accident occurs because a driver stopped in his or her lane of traffic in a roundabout, then that driver will almost always be found at fault for causing a roundabout accident. Stopping in a roundabout can cause a driver to be rear-ended and it can cause other vehicles to collide in order to avoid striking the driver’s negligently stopped vehicle.
Michigan law provides a driver in a roundabout cannot stop his or her vehicle unless the driver has “first determine[d] that the stopping . . . can be made in safety and shall give a signal . . .” (MCL 257.648(1))
What other moving violations could put a driver at fault in a roundabout accident in Michigan?
A driver may also be at fault in a roundabout accident if he or she was speeding and/or tailgating and either of those driving behaviors caused a crash to occur within the roundabout. (MCL 257.627(1); 257.643(1))
Can more than one person be at fault in a roundabout accident in Michigan?
There can be more than one person who is at fault in a roundabout accident. In order for the victim to be able to sue for pain and suffering compensation and/or vehicle damage, the driver who caused the accident must have been 50% or more at fault. (MCL 500.3135(2)(b) and (4)(a))
The victim’s recovery for compensation or damages will be reduced by the percentage amount – if any – that he or she was at fault in contributing to the roundabout accident. This legal concept is called “comparative negligence.”
Were you injured by a driver who is at fault in a roundabout accident? Call an experienced auto accident attorney at Michigan Auto Law
If you were injured by a driver who is at fault in a roundabout accident and you have questions about your legal rights to pain and suffering compensation, economic damages and auto No-Fault insurance benefits, you can speak to an experienced auto accident lawyer at (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation. You can also get help from an experienced No-Fault insurance attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.