Accidents caused by the road layout
Accidents caused by the road layout

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Accidents caused by the road layout
  • Roundabouts
  • Mini roundabouts
  • Traffic lights
  • Road signs

Most road traffic cases turn on their particular facts.

There are few hard and fast rules. However, a body of case law has evolved over the past century that provides helpful guidance in a number of familiar situations. The decisions on the facts of particular cases should not be mistaken for principles of law. However, previous decisions often give a helpful indication of how the issue of liability is likely to be resolved.


Rules 184–190 of the Highway Code set out what motorists should do when approaching, and while on a roundabout, motorists should give way to traffic approaching from the right unless directed otherwise, eg by traffic lights. They should also adjust their speed and position to fit in with traffic conditions. Rule 186 of the Highway Code gives guidance for correct signalling but motorist should be aware that road users already on a roundabout may not be signalling correctly or at all.

Common types of accidents at roundabouts are caused by:

  1. a failure to wait for a clear space before entering the roundabout

  2. incorrect use of the lanes while on the roundabout

  3. sudden and unexpected braking

When moving between lanes on a roundabout, drivers need to be conscious of the other vehicles around them. While being in the wrong lane on a roundabout is not conclusive evidence that the driver was negligent, the court will require

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