Roundabouts And Reasons Why Accidents Can Occur

Characteristics Of A Roundabout

Roundabouts are increasingly being installed in the Chicago area. These roundabouts are gaining popularity due to various favorable characteristics. Among these characteristics is that they allow for better traffic flow as traffic is not required to stop as it would if traffic lights or stop signs were installed. There are safety benefits due to the inherent design of a roundabout. Also, they can be cheaper to install relative to alternative traffic control devices such as intersections with stop lights.

Of note, roundabouts can be either single-lane or multi-lane.

An excerpt from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) “Roundabouts” page:

Modern roundabouts are becoming mainstream throughout Illinois. These circular intersections efficiently move traffic counterclockwise around a center island, offering safety, environmental and economic benefits to drivers and communities.

Not to be mistaken for traffic circles, which are often larger and include stop signs or traffic signals, modern roundabouts have yield signs at each entry point. Roundabouts are designed for lower-speed driving with all traffic moving in the same direction, eliminating left turns across traffic and creating fewer stress points that can cause crashes. An intersection’s traffic volume and size are a few factors considered when deciding a roundabout is the preferred choice over a traffic light-controlled option in a location.

Another excerpt from the page, regarding safety benefits:

Reduce Conflicts

Roundabouts reduce 32 conflict points from traditional intersections with traffic signals or stop signs, to only 8 conflict points, lowering chances of vehicle-to-vehicle crashes.

Safer

Roundabouts are proven to be safer! Roundabouts require driving 25 mph or slower giving drivers more reaction time to other vehicles or pedestrians in crosswalks. Slower speeds reduce severe injury crashes.


As seen on that page, there are also other benefits as roundabouts are claimed to be more efficient and there are savings relative to traditional traffic signal intersections.

Another benefit of roundabouts is cited on the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) site concerning roundabouts. It says:

Studies by the Federal Highway Administration have found that roundabouts can increase traffic capacity by 30 percent to 50 percent compared to traditional intersections.

How To Drive In A Roundabout

The IDOT page mentioned above tells of how to safely drive and otherwise navigate in a roundabout. The WSDOT page has a link to videos concerning roundabouts and how to safely drive within them.

Accidents Within Roundabouts

Although, as mentioned above, roundabouts can be inherently safer than traditional intersections and other junctions, accidents can and do occur. These accidents can occur for various reasons, including the following:

Failing To Yield

Perhaps the main reason that accidents occur within roundabouts is if there is a failure to yield. If drivers entering the roundabout don’t yield to vehicles already within it, the probability of a collision increases.

Another instance that requires yielding is if there are pedestrians or bicyclists attempting to cross in crosswalks within the roundabout.

Traveling Too Fast

One reason for an accident is if a driver approaches the roundabout too quickly, and loses control of the vehicle. By their nature, roundabouts are either circular in nature or otherwise have curves. For this reason, speed limits are usually low to insure safe passage. If a motorist enters at too high a speed, there is potential for the motorist to lose control.

One roundabout crash causing serious injuries happened early Monday (August 30, 2021) morning. An excerpt from the wbay.com article of August 30 titled “Sheboygan motorcyclist seriously hurt in roundabout crash:

A 27-year-old Sheboygan man suffered life-threatening injuries in a motorcycle crash Monday morning.

At 1:23 a.m., police were called to the intersection of S. 8th St. and Indiana Ave.


Police say the rider failed to negotiate the roundabout. He was thrown from his bike.


Nearby officers made a tourniquet to control the man’s heavy bleeding, police say.

The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital for medical care before being airlifted to another hospital.

Stopping Within The Roundabout

Except in certain warranted circumstances, a driver should not stop within the roundabout. Coming to an unexpected and unwarranted stop can increase the likelihood of the stopped vehicle getting “rear ended.”

What To Do If Injured During An Accident

If one is injured during an accident, there are various steps that should be taken. Among the most important steps are those to protect one’s health. Another important issue is what to do to get the most injury compensation if the accident was caused by another person.

From a medical perspective, as soon as possible after being injured the person should seek to get a thorough medical exam. This comprehensive medical exam is typically conducted in a hospital emergency room. This exam is meant to determine all of the injuries that may have occurred. It is important to determine all injuries so that the various injuries can be properly treated.

Once all of the injuries are properly identified, a proper course of medical treatment can be identified and administered. This treatment will vary depending upon various aspects of the injuries, including their type and severity.

The medical care needed can include medications; hospitalization; testing; and surgeries.
There may be a need for specialized care, such as treatment for burns.

This medical care has the potential to be expensive, if not very much so.

An injured person may have other expenses, financial burdens, and hardships stemming from being injured. For instance, one financial burden that can arise is if the person is unable to work during the injury recovery period. If unable to work, the injured person may experience a loss of income.

Often, those who are injured due to the fault of another person or party seek to get compensation for these medical expenses and other issues through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury lawsuit can seek to get compensation for various reasons. These reasons are determined by the characteristics of the injuries and circumstances regarding the accident. Among the types of compensation that may be available include that for:

  • Past, current, and future medical bills
  • Lost Income
  • Property Damage
  • Ambulance Costs
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Loss Of Function

The Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury lawsuits for over 25 years. The firm also handles wrongful death lawsuits. Over this time, the firm has won many notable lawsuit settlements and court verdicts. Due to this success the firms’ lawyers have been awarded various awards and performance designations.

The various settlements, court verdicts, and awards can be found on the “Illinois Personal Injury Case Results And Litigation Capabilities” page.

The Elman Joseph Law Group offers a free legal consultation for those who have been injured during an accident that was caused by another person. Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney, can be reached at any time at 773-392-8182, or via email at [email protected]

Elman Joseph Law Group handles all lawsuits on a contingency basis…clients don’t pay a fee unless and until they receive money.