We’ve all seen it. A circular road pattern constructed at the intersection of multiple roads to simplify getting vehicles from one road to another. These roundabouts are an effective way to reduce accidents at dangerous and busy intersections.
But if you’re a pedestrian, you may wonder how to safely maneuver through these roundabouts. With the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reporting 4,743 pedestrian deaths in the U.S. in 2012, it’s important to know the lawful and safe way to cross through a roundabout.
How to Stay Safe in a Roundabout
Because vehicles move more slowly in a roundabout—usually between 15 and 20 miles per hour—roundabouts are designed to be safer for pedestrians. And because Texas does not automatically give pedestrians the right of way, it’s important to know some safety tips for crossing these traffic circles, including:
- Always stay on the designated walkways when you approach or leave the roundabout.
- Watch for bicyclists because you both share the paths and crosswalks.
- Cross only at the designated crosswalks, and never cross to the center island.
- Once you get to the desired crosswalk location, wait for an acceptable gap in traffic before entering the crosswalk. Check for oncoming cars.
- Do not assume that cars will stop to let you cross. Only enter the crosswalk when there are no cars coming or you are certain that oncoming traffic is yielding to you.
- Proceed to the splitter island. This island is a raised or painted section in the roundabout that separates traffic moving in opposite directions. The splitter island offers a safe haven where you can focus on traffic coming from only one direction at a time.
- Again, wait for an acceptable gap in traffic before entering the crosswalk, and only enter when you are sure there is no traffic or it is yielding to you.
When You’re a Victim in an Auto-Pedestrian Accident
Texas had the second highest pedestrian fatality rate in 2012, and although roundabouts are designed to be safer for pedestrians, drivers don’t always understand these roundabouts, and accidents can still happen. If you were the victim in an auto-pedestrian crash, it’s important to talk to a personal injury lawyer who can evaluate the damages you’ve faced since the accident and those you may face in the future. Call us today at 817-380-4888 to discuss how we can help.