Do You Hate Roundabouts? So Do I!

I’ve always had an intense uncertainty when it comes to roundabouts. It’s never really clear who yields whom. If you’re on the inside lane, are you forced to go round and round like a scene from European Vacation? And what about the outside lane? Is that the only lane you can escape from?

My feelings for roundabouts grew from uncertainty to hate when I was involved in an auto accident last year. For a brief second I thought the huge, black truck was going to miss me. Then, Boom! He didn’t. His passenger rear quarter panel struck my driver’s side front quarter panel. I had to pick up my bumper from the ground and put it in my car. Here’s what happened next:

  • I say:  “Why’d you hit my car?”

Stupid thing to say, but I was a little shaken.

  • He says: “You hit me.”
  • I say:  “No I didn’t. You hit me. I can go straight or turn.”

I realize this is kind of who got the peanut butter on the chocolate or who got the chocolate on the peanut butter moment and the white arrows painted on the street are no help.

  • I say: “See the straight line is on my lane.”
  • He says nothing, just shakes his head.
  • I say: “Let’s let the insurance companies settle it.”

I ask for his insurance information, take a million pictures, and leave, shaking just a bit from the adrenaline. My car is making a horrible, scraping noise all the way home which is about a mile away. As luck would have it a police officer is at the entrance to my neighborhood (handing out tickets for speeding in a school zone) when he makes eye contact with me over my loud car. I take this as a sign that it is okay to pull over and occupy his time. For those five minutes no one got a ticket (though you shouldn’t speed in a school zone)!

The good news is it wasn’t my fault. That guy did in fact hit me and not the other way around. That’s what the law says, but not what the insurance company said. His insurance denied my claim and my insurance denied his claim. How nice that they get to do this. This is what the sign looks like telling you who has the right of way. Confusing, right?

Three months later after appealing this decision his insurance company reimbursed me for my out of pocket expenses. So what’s the takeaway? If I had called the police this wouldn’t have dragged out so long. Or course, if there had been a four-way stop sign, none of this would have happened at all. Here’s to keeping roundabouts where they belong, in Europe.

Missed last week’s Random Thoughts? Check it out here.

Random Thoughts: Do You Hate Roundabouts? So Do I!
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