CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — If you’ve driven in St. George, chances are you’ve encountered a roundabout. While some may view these circular intersections as a delightful challenge, for others, they’re nothing short of a dizzying conundrum. But fear not, because this guide is here to make your next roundabout experience as smooth as a freshly paved road.

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St. George’s first-ever roundabout, located at the intersection of Main Street, Diagonal Street and 200 North in the historic downtown district, opened to traffic in 1999. Today, dozens of thoughtfully designed and decorated traffic circles are scattered throughout Washington County.

“Southern Utah has been familiar with roundabouts for years, but they’re still confusing and intimidating for some drivers,” said Anthony C. McMullin, a personal injury attorney and the founding partner of McMullin Injury Law. “We’re seeing an increase in car crashes as well as injuries relating to roundabouts.”

According to data from the Utah Department of Public Safety, 57 crashes occurred at Washington County’s roundabout intersections in 2022. Last year, that number spiked to 80 collisions, an increase of more than 40%. Twenty-six roundabout crashes already  have been reported in 2024, indicating another busy year for first responders, collision repair shops, insurance companies and injury lawyers.

“If you ask the community, I think a lot of people are frustrated with roundabouts,” McMullin said. “Not only are they confusing, but it’s frustrating when other drivers don’t know how to navigate them, and it causes issues.”

Why does St. George have roundabouts?

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Roundabouts aren’t just there to test your steering skills. In most cases, they’re installed to enhance the safety of specific intersections.

Statistics show that roundabouts increase traffic flow and reduce the likelihood of collisions compared with traditional intersections. They also discourage speeding, making them a safer choice for both drivers and pedestrians.

As Southern Utah’s largest personal injury law firm, McMullin Injury Law represents a handful of injury cases associated with roundabout crashes every year. However, McMullin said the injuries resulting from collisions in roundabouts are typically minor due to the slower rates of speed.

Mastering the single-lane roundabout

Single-lane roundabouts are the intro level to this game, ideal for beginners. Here’s how to ace it.

Approach with caution: As you approach a roundabout, reduce your speed. The name of the game is to yield, not to stop entirely – unless, of course, traffic within the roundabout dictates otherwise.
Yield to the left: Traffic in a roundabout has the right-of-way. Look to your left. If there’s a car coming, yield. If not, proceed with confidence.
Exit with care: Use your turn signal when you exit. It’s not just polite; it’s your way of telling other drivers you’re not going for another loop.

Tackling the multi-lane roundabout

Now, it’s time for the boss level: multi-lane roundabouts. These can be a bit trickier, so keep your wits about you.

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Choose your lane quickly: The outer lane is generally for turning right or going straight, while the inner lane can be used to go straight, turn left or make a complete circle.
Stay in your lane: Once you’ve picked your lane, stick to it like glue until you’re ready to exit. Lane changes within a roundabout can lead to chaos.
Exit: Use your turn signal to show when you’re exiting. Exiting from the inner lane? Watch out for cars in the outer lane that might be continuing on.

Helpful roundabout etiquette

Don’t stop in the roundabout: Keep the traffic flowing. If you miss your exit, it’s perfectly acceptable (and safer) to circle around again.
Avoid honking: Unless necessary for safety, keep the honking to a minimum. Remember, everyone is trying to figure it out just like you.
Be patient: Roundabouts can be intimidating, especially in busy times. Take a deep breath, play some calming music and give yourself and others a break.

Navigating roundabouts in St. George might initially seem daunting, but with a bit of practice and understanding, you’ll be cruising around them like a pro. Remember, the goal is to keep traffic flowing smoothly and safely. So take these tips, hit the roundabouts with confidence and enjoy the ride!

From dealing with the hassle of repairs to seeking compensation for injuries, the aftermath of a car crash can be overwhelming. McMullin Injury Law deals with collision claims on a daily basis and has recovered millions of dollars for clients injured through no fault of their own, tirelessly advocating for a fair resolution.

To schedule a free consultation with McMullin Injury Law, visit the firm’s website or call 435-673-9990.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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McMullin Injury Law | Address: 301 N. 200 East, Suite 3C, St. George or 1289 Interstate Drive, Suite 2-I, Cedar City | Telephone: 435-673-9990 | Email: | Website.

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