You're involved in a car accident in a round-about. It all happens very quickly, and you feel like you're at fault. You rarely use round-abouts, after all, so you must have done something wrong.

The other driver comes up to your window and doesn't even ask if you're all right. He or she just starts yelling at you, saying the crash was your fault. Everything is chaotic and overwhelming and stressful. Should you admit that the crash was your fault and apologize?

Never Assume You Caused a Crash

You should not. Do not assume you were the one who caused the wreck. Don't tell the other driver it was your fault, or that could come back to haunt you. You might not even want to apologize if you're worried that doing so will imply that you were at fault.

Why Not?

Don't apologize? You may feel appalled. You're a nice person. Shouldn't you take responsibility?

There's nothing wrong with taking responsibility, but you should only do so when you're sure that the blame is yours to take. You just don't have enough facts yet. Let the police come, and they'll decide who was at fault.

For one thing, as noted above, you don't use round-abouts often. Maybe you did have the right-of-way and you didn't know it. For another, you simply can't know important details at this point. Is that angry second driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Were there any witnesses who will claim the other driver was at fault? What is the speed limit, and how fast was that other car going? Are there any roadway design defects to consider?

These are all factors that play into the determination of fault, and police will sort it out. Don't try to do it yourself in a split second. Don't assume you are at fault just because one other driver says you were, especially when that driver has plenty of reason to hope you caused the crash, even if it's not true. Don't give in to the stress of the moment.

Learn Your Options

Instead, trust the system. Talk to the police. Learn what legal options you have. Take a step back, a deep breath and then move forward, rather than rushing to any conclusions.

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