Driving Wisconsin Roundabouts

Roundabouts and Accidents

Accidents do occur in European traffic circles or “roundabouts” as we call them here in the U.S.  However, they are designed to prevent the more serious accidents.  Traffic moves in a single direction which means that dangerous crashes including right-angle, left-turn or head-on collisions are less likely to happen. Many studies have been done to support the idea that by converting intersections into roundabouts, car accidents resulting in serious injuries or fatalities are greatly reduced.  For many states, roundabouts are not just considered an alternative, but are a first priority when building new intersections or constructing to correct a safety hazard or reduce congestion in certain areas.

Documented Data Supporting Roundabouts

  • Roundabouts reduce the number of severe injury crashes & deaths
  • Roundabouts improve the flow of traffic
  • Roundabouts are a greener alternative to vehicle idling & wasted fuel

The problem is that a roundabout may not be the best fit for every scenario when looking at safety, efficiency and cost to construct.  In addition, many Wisconsin drivers are still confused as to how to navigate through roundabouts. Accidents do still occur in roundabouts, and they are usually in the form of a rear-end collision or failure to yield accident.

Roundabouts in Wisconsin

Many roundabouts have been popping up all over Wisconsin, especially over the past few years. However, if it feels as if our state is going roundabout crazy, this is really not the case. Wisconsin doesn’t follow the “roundabout first “policies that many other states have adopted. The way that it works here is that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation evaluates all design alternatives to determine which signaling method or roundabout is best for each individual situation. This method of evaluation has resulted in less than one percent of intersections using roundabouts in our state. Of that one percent, the majority are located on state trunk highways and local highways.

Roundabout Driving Laws in Wisconsin 

  • Drivers at roundabouts must yield right-of-way to trucks & other large vehicles measuring longer than 40 feet or wider than 10 feet.
  • Drivers approaching a roundabout must yield to any traffic already within a roundabout.
  • If two large vehicles approach a roundabout at the same time, the vehicle on the left has the right of way.
  • Bicyclists can use roundabouts as cars do. Signal intent to move into traffic & ride close to the middle of the lane to prevent cars from passing and cutting you off.

Roundabout Accident- Legal Claim for Compensation

If you have been rear-ended in a roundabout, or hit by someone who has failed to yield the right of way in a roundabout; a motorist, motorcyclist, pedestrian or bicyclist… contact the attorneys at Action Law Offices.  In your free initial consultation, we will evaluate your situation. Determine quickly if you’re accident claim could be awarded compensation for your injuries and damages.

DISCLAIMER: Blogs and articles cover very basic accident and injury topics for education and awareness such as statistics, Wisconsin Laws, injury areas, compensation and injury victim rights. Information not intended for legal advice; consult with an attorney directly.