The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) supports the use of roundabouts
as a means of preventing traffic accidents. In the Aug. 18, 2011, issue
of its newsletter Status Report, the institute recommends utilizing these
circular intersections more widely in the United States in lieu of stop
signs and traffic signals. As the IIHS and other groups continue to push
for increased safety measures in vehicles and on roadways,
personal injury attorneys continue to protect the rights of accident victims. If you or
a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, a qualified
Sarasota injury attorney can help.
Do Roundabouts Prevent Accidents?
Bill Baranowski, president of Roundabouts USA, has been involved in the
analysis and design of around 100 roundabouts in 14 different states.
According to his website, the United States currently has about 2,600
modern roundabouts. The IIHS reports that at intersections using roundabouts,
the institute has seen a 40 percent reduction in total car accidents and
an 80 percent reduction in car accidents involving injuries. Furthermore,
according to the Roundabouts USA website, roundabouts have contributed
to reducing crashes involving fatalities or serious injuries by as much as:
- 76 percent in the U.S.
- 75 percent in Australia
- 86 percent in Great Britain
Roundabouts help reduce crashes by forcing vehicles to keep moving in the
same direction and at lower speeds than in a normal four-way intersection.
The one-way, slower flow of traffic minimizes the risk of left-turn and
head-on collisions, two of the most common and dangerous types of intersection
accidents. Because roundabouts have proven successful in reducing intersection
crashes, the Federal Highway Administration recommends that roundabouts
be considered when new intersections are being constructed or existing
ones are being improved on federally funded highways.
Are There Any Other Benefits?
According to the IIHS and the Roundabouts USA website, these circular intersections
- Travel delays
- Fuel consumption
- Air pollution
- Construction and maintenance costs
Roundabouts used in place of traffic signals cut electricity costs by approximately
$1,500 per intersection per year and maintenance costs by approximately
$3,500 per intersection per year, according to Roundabouts USA. Additionally,
roundabouts also improve pedestrian safety, not only because they force
drivers to slow down, but also because they split the intersection into
two stages by providing a circular island in the middle.
Even with safer intersection designs, accidents can still happen. If you
have been seriously injured in a
car accident that was not your fault, or if your loved one was killed in one,
contact an experienced Sarasota injury lawyer today to learn about your legal rights.