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The Common Causes of Roundabout Auto Accidents

October 20, 2020

According to a recent report, roundabouts, also called traffic circles, are installed with greater regularity in the United States. The design of a roundabout creates a safe intersection for motorists, pedestrians, and bicycle riders alike by reducing speeds and congestion. Accidents that lead to death or severe injury could be reduced by over 80 percent when an intersection is converted into a roundabout. 

Roundabouts have three similar attributes, regardless of how many entries and exit points exist. Each roundabout uses counterclockwise traffic flow, forces cars to yield when entering, and forces drivers to negotiate the traffic circle at low speeds. These design features increase the safety of all users, including pedestrians and bicycle riders.

Roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections because of the slower speeds coupled with the reduction of conflict points. A traditional four-way intersection has 32 conflict points, whereas a roundabout reduces that number to eight. Collisions are less severe because the vehicles are moving slower and in the same direction. 

The design of a roundabout is not foolproof. Severe and sometimes fatal collisions can occur when a person speeds, drives while intoxicated, or drives recklessly on a roundabout. Speeders can cause crashes in two scenarios. A speeding driver could slam into the rear of vehicles waiting to enter the traffic circle. Also, a speeding car might enter the roundabout without yielding to oncoming traffic.

Reckless drivers obstruct the traffic flow. Unsafe drivers can change lanes in the roundabout without warning. Other people might become confused and stop in the circle. Roundabouts are not designed to accommodate a motorist that stops. Roundabouts are safe because the traffic keeps moving. 

It is well documented that most accidents can be prevented with a little extra care and safety education.  Since 1984, Montlick & Associates has been dedicated to keeping children and families safe on the roadway.  Our commitment runs deep through our extensive, award-winning public service programs that provide people the information they need to avoid injuries.  To learn about our Don't Drink and Drive Campaign, Child Passenger Safety Programs, Booster Seat Campaign and much more, visit and click on “community service,” or simply click here. You can also learn more about one of our newest driver and passenger safety programs by visiting

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Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.