Roundabouts and Personal Injury: What Drivers Need to Know

Pedestrians and drivers alike face risks each time they’re on the road. Many safety measures are in place to minimize and prevent injuries to these parties. One of the most important safety features offered on many roads is the roundabout. Here’s what drivers need to know.

Drivers around the United States may have noticed a new roundabout in their area. In fact, they may have noticed several roundabouts recently installed. This is because the U.S. Department of Transportation has discovered that installing roundabouts may actually help decrease traffic accident fatalities up to 90%. When installed in place of a traditional intersection, roundabouts provide a safe way for traffic to continue moving and for pedestrians to cross roads safely. Although roundabouts are an incredible option when it comes to directing the flow of traffic, some drivers still have questions about how this design works and how it can affect them.

What is a roundabout?

A roundabout is utilized in place of a stop sign or traffic lights at a three or four-way intersection. With this type of design, drivers will not necessarily have to stop. Instead, they will yield to other traffic and pedestrians. This ensures that traffic continues flowing easily and without congestion. Drivers will turn right and follow the roundabout until they have reached their chosen exit. Roundabouts may be a single lane; however, many roundabouts do have multiple lanes, especially roundabouts in high-traffic areas. Roundabouts are also designed to enhance a pedestrian's ability to cross the road easily and many roundabouts do contain crosswalks.

What types of accidents can a roundabout prevent?

Pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles may all be impacted by motor vehicle collisions. Roundabouts are designed to minimize these types of accidents. For example, because traffic is forced to slow down when entering a roundabout, even if a vehicle collision occurs, the damage will be minimal. Similarly, because cars drive slowly through roundabouts, this type of design is safer for pedestrians and cyclists who may be using crosswalks at the roundabout. Vehicles will be more likely to pay careful attention at these types of intersections because they are slowly down so much.

What should citizens do if they are injured?

Unfortunately, accidents can still and do occur in roundabouts. While these accidents are typically less likely to be fatal, they may still cause injury. If a pedestrian, cyclist, driver, or vehicle passenger is involved in an injury at a roundabout, they should reach out to a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. This is because a personal injury lawyer may be able to offer assistance during this time. Sometimes, citizens impacted by an accident are not sure how to get the compensation they may be entitled to. Other times, they may not be sure how to file insurance claims or may want help with the legal side of the issue. The right attorney will offer guidance and care throughout the entire process, so injured parties should reach out right away.