What Drivers Should Know About Fault for an Accident at a Wisconsin Roundabout

roundabout in forestAccording to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, only one percent of all state highway intersections are controlled by a roundabout. Whereas eight percent of state-controlled intersections have a traffic signal.

Due to fewer roundabouts, most drivers may not be aware of what the rules are when driving through one. This increases the chances of getting into an accident.

If you were injured in a crash in a roundabout, call our Oshkosh car crash lawyers today to discuss your legal options. We offer a free consultation and there are no upfront fees for our services.

Are Roundabouts Safer Than Traditional Intersections?

Research has shown that roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), this is likely because the tight circle of a roundabout forces drivers to slow down. Additionally, the design of a roundabout could help prevent right-angle, left turn and head-on collisions, which are the most prevalent and severe types of collisions that occur at intersections.

Some experiments done on the safety and efficacy of roundabouts also show that there are at least 32 possible vehicle conflicts and 24 possible pedestrian conflicts in a traditional intersection. Whereas in a roundabout there are only eight possible vehicle and pedestrian conflicts.

Roundabouts also help improve traffic flow, as drivers do not need to come to a full stop if the way is clear.

What Traffic Laws Govern Roundabouts in Wisconsin?

In the Wisconsin Motorists Handbook, there are listed steps for driving in a roundabout. The steps outlined in the handbook are as follows:

  • Slow down and obey traffic signs
  • Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Yield to traffic already in the roundabout
  • Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in traffic
  • Keep your speed low within the roundabout
  • Yield to pedestrians and bicycles as you exit

The traffic pattern in most roundabout is the same, but there are certain things to keep in mind while driving in a multi-lane roundabout. First, it is important to enter the roundabout in the appropriate lane. When making a specific maneuver, drivers should remember the following:

  • Use the left lane when making left turns
  • Use the left lane when making U-turns
  • Use the right or left lane when going straight
  • Use the right lane when turning right

Drivers should also remember that larger vehicles need more space in a roundabout. It is important to use caution and avoid driving next to or passing large trucks while approaching or maneuvering in a roundabout.

What Factors Help Determine Liability for a Roundabout Accident?

Liability for a roundabout accident comes down to which driver acted negligently and caused the collision. Some of the questions that may be asked to determine fault include:

  • Did another driver get into the roundabout in the opposite flow of traffic?

These are all general questions that may help determine who could have caused the collision, but every accident is different. It may be difficult to determine who is liable for your damages until you speak with an experienced attorney about your claim.

What Parties May Bear Liability for a Roundabout Collision?

Roundabout accidents are usually caused by the negligence of drivers who enter the roundabout in violation of another driver’s right of way. However, there are times when some other parties may bear some fault for the collision, including the following:

  • Pedestrians – If a pedestrian crosses outside of the crosswalk and gets hit by a car, he or she may bear partial fault for the accident.
  • Cyclists – A cyclist who does not follow the rules of a roundabout may cause a collision, so he or she could bear liability for your injuries.

Seeking compensation from some of these parties could be complicated. Drivers owe a higher duty of care to pedestrians and cyclists, so you may need to have further proof of negligence from either party. If your claim is against a government entity, there are certain laws and timelines to remember.

Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you were injured in a roundabout collision, you should strongly consider working with an experienced attorney.

Our lawyers have decades of experience helping accident victims recover compensation for their damages.

Call (877) 888-5201 to schedule a free consultation.