Roundabout Safety Concerns in the Region


Roundabouts have become very common in the Region of Waterloo. They reduce the number of serious collisions and personal injuries in intersections, but it seems drivers haven’t adjusted their driving habits for pedestrians in these large circles of traffic. 

The Kitchener Record reported last week that many pedestrians don’t feel safe trying to cross the road. They don’t feel seen by drivers. While drivers are supposed to stop and allow pedestrians to pass they often fail to yield the right.

Pedestrians claim inattention by drivers, difficulty seeing approaching cars and being seen by cars, and drivers flat out refusing to stop. The larger intersections are often filled with cars and they are moving fast. There are regular reports of pedestrians being hit by cars and trucks at the crosswalks.

The Kitchener Record reported last week that Jeff Cosello a professor at the University of Waterloo in Engineering and Traffic would like to see more data on the ‘near misses’ with pedestrians, and at looking at ways to slow cars down in the crosswalks. He suggested various techniques like visual speed bumps. Others have suggested moving pedestrian crosswalks farther outside the intersections.

Safety in Roundabouts:

The Region of Waterloo has had roundabouts since 2004 and has an entire webpage dedicated to their proper use and benefits. You can find that here. In their most recent statistics, they show that there are more than three times as many pedestrian collisions at traffic signal-controlled intersections than at roundabouts.

Car accidents are not reduced in frequency, but the severity of the personal injury is greatly reduced. The benefits of roundabouts include:

  • Reduced vehicle speed
  • The elimination of right angle (t-bone) crashes
  • Less conflict between vehicles, and between vehicles and pedestrians
  • Fewer head on collisions

How to Stay Safe in a Roundabout:

  • Pedestrians should look carefully and enter crossings slowly with their arm extended
  • Pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers
  • Drivers should be travelling slowly and looking for pedestrians on both sides of each crosswalk
  • Drivers should slow down in the roundabout
  • Drivers must stop and allow pedestrians to cross safely

If you have been hurt seriously in a car accident at a roundabout or been hit by a car while trying to cross the road you should contact one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Deutschmann Personal Injury and Disability Law. We have the experience and expertise to help you get the compensation you deserve. Don’t face your situation alone. Call us for your first free initial consultation today 1.866.414.4878

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