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Could Roundabouts Increase Traffic Safety?

Understanding Roundabouts' Effects on Traffic

Did you know that the number of roundabouts in the United States has almost doubled in the past decade? Though this form of intersection is still somewhat rare, it's becoming an increasingly popular way of dealing with unsafe areas. Here's what you need to know about how roundabouts work and why they can be good at preventing accidents.

Roundabouts Lower Travel Speeds

One of the biggest benefits of roundabouts is that their design forces drivers to slow down. Instead of driving in a straight line, you have to navigate a tight curve that requires a slower speed. In most cases, drivers cannot reasonably travel through a roundabout at speeds higher than 35 miles per hour. This lower speed encourages drivers to pay more attention to the road, and it gives them more time to correct if they notice something happening. It also means that if drivers do hit each other, they're more likely to just bump each other lightly instead of slamming into each other. This benefit of roundabouts is especially noticeable in the more modern roundabout designs that have a smaller circle than older ones.

Dangerous Types of Accidents Happen Less in Roundabouts

More cities are also installing roundabouts because they cut back on the amount of dangerous accidents. Traditional intersections require cars to travel at 90-degree angles to each other. When they run into each other, they are likely to do so in dangerous ways, like head-on collisions or T-bone accidents. These sorts of incidents are less likely to happen in roundabouts where all drivers are moving in the same direction. Instead of ramming directly into each other, cars are more likely to just sideswipe each other or hit each other on an angle. Roundabout statistics found that crashes in intersections with roundabouts have around 75% fewer injuries than crashes in other types of intersections.

Pedestrians Crossing Roundabouts Are Safer

Not only do they reduce the risk of car collisions, but roundabouts also lower the risk of encountering other types of accidents. Statistically, pedestrians are 75% less likely to get hit when crossing the road at a roundabout instead of a normal intersection. This is partially because drivers are going slower and are more likely to see pedestrians. Another benefit is that pedestrians need to cross traffic going in only two directions. Instead of having to check for cars turning or doing U-turns, pedestrians just need to look out for vehicles traveling in one part of the intersection. This simplifies things and cuts back on the risk of accidents.

Roundabouts Reduce Accident Rates Overall

While a lot of evidence shows that roundabouts are useful, critics of roundabouts argue that they cause problems due to unfamiliarity. Are roundabouts safer overall than more familiar types of intersections? Research proves that they are. Even though it takes drivers a little time to become familiar with how to use a roundabout, they still cut back on crashes overall. Data shows that in intersections where roundabouts replace traffic signs or traffic lights, the amount of car accidents is reduced by 35% to 47%.

Traffic Delays in Roundabouts Are Less Common

In addition to reducing your need for an Allentown personal injury lawyer, due to fewer accidents, roundabouts can also make your daily commute a lot easier. Roundabouts provide a lot of benefits for managing traffic flow. Since you don't have to always come to a complete stop or wait for a light to change colors, there are fewer traffic jams. In 2004, discovered research showed that adding a roundabout decreased driver delays by up to 65%. Updated roads can do a lot to solve traffic issues, but even the best design doesn't entirely prevent accidents. If you or a loved one has been in an accident recently, Metzger & Kleiner can help. Our Allentown personal injury lawyers can help you file a lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries. To schedule your consultation, call the Metzger & Kleiner team at 610-436-7400 or fill out our contact form.

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