Roundabouts require better warning system for presence of pedestrians

January 03, 2015, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

It was recently reported in the Waterloo Region Record that a 70 year old driver of a car struck a 23 year old pedestrian at a roundabout located in Waterloo.  The car driver entered the roundabout located at the intersection of Erbs Street West, Erbsville Road and Ira Needles Boulevard in Waterloo.   The pedestrian was hurt while attempting to cross the roundabout.  The car driver was charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian.  The accident between the car and pedestrian occurred in the early evening on November 30.  It was also raining at the time of the accident.  Visibility may have been a factor in the accident.  The pedestrian was reported to be wearing a dark wardrobe.  The pedestrian may have suffered serious injuries considering the damage to the car and that she was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto following the car pedestrian accident.  Witnesses at the scene commented that the current warning measures provided at the roundabout, which includes signage and painted crosswalks, aren’t enough, particularly in nighttime conditions.  One observer noted that a roundabout requires a driver to consider too many options and thereby makes it difficult for the driver to also pay proper attention for pedestrians in the roundabout.   With multiple lanes, blocked vision by other vehicles in the roundabout, attention drawn to the right for oncoming vehicles, it forces the driver to be aware of many factors, and may put the driver in a confused state or cause the driver to be less attentive, particularly to pedestrians.  The Region of Waterloo is considering raised crosswalks as a means of slowing drivers down even further, but that may not be enough.  A signalling system that alerts drivers to the presence of pedestrians in the roundabout would certainly provide a strong pedestrian warning system for car drivers and others entering the roundabout.  While speed is certainly one issue to consider, it does not sufficiently answer the problem of confusion in the roundabout.  Better and earlier signage on the roadway to assist drivers in knowing which lane to enter for a multiple lane roundabout would also be beneficial and help reduce the car driver confusion when entering the roundabout.  More issues that can be eliminated early on will assist the car driver’s ability to be more attentive to other issues happening within the roundabout, like the presence of a pedestrian.

Posted under Car Accidents, Fractures, Pain and Suffering, Pedestrian Accidents, Personal Injury

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