Roundabout Safety

A popular area for those located in the southwest of Salt Lake County looking to shop, dine-out, or see a movie is The District. The main entrances to The District are located on the north side of The District. The traffic in and out is largely regulated by an elongated roundabout. While my family loves to visit The District, the high traffic, elongated roundabout, and seeming lack of knowledge on how a roundabout is meant to function makes getting into and out of The District at high-traffic hours a test in patience and caution. People who don’t know how to navigate roundabouts can cause car accidents, and it seems the vast majority of drivers either misunderstands or misuses the roundabout.

Roundabouts are seemingly becoming more popular throughout Utah. Roundabouts have been found to improve the overall safety and performance of intersecting streets. According to a survey performed by the Federal Highway Administration, converting intersections from standard traffic control signals or devices to roundabouts has been shown to reduce injury rates by 73% for single-lane roundabouts and by 31% in multi-lane roundabouts. Amongst other things, the Federal Highway Administration attributes this increase in safety to a decrease in potential “conflict points,” a decrease in general speeds in the roundabout, and the relative uniformity of speeds of vehicles traveling within the roundabout.http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/00068/.

The benefits of a roundabout, of course, are largely dependent on people understanding how to properly navigate them.The 2014 Utah Drivers Handbook contains a list of 4 important points to remember when navigating a roundabout:

  1. Always yield to traffic that is already in the roundabout;
  2. Roundabouts run counterclockwise, always enter the roundabout to your right;
  3. Always yield to pedestrians; and
  4. Always signal to the right when exiting out a roundabout.

Failing to follow any one of these points can result in an accident.As a driver of a motor vehicle, you have a responsibility to operate your vehicle in a safe manner.

Unfortunately, others may not be familiar with the proper requirements for navigating roundabouts.If you are in an accident due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover for your injuries.Often, the best course of action is to contact an experienced lawyer who can help you navigate the unfamiliar and often complicated road to a fair resolution.

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