The fact is, about one third of car collisions happen in traffic intersections. In most cases, these accidents involve multiple cars and parties. Furthermore, an intersection accident can trigger other accidents like those involving pedestrians, motorcycles, and semi-trucks. But what makes intersections so dangerous?
Intersections can be complicated, involving motorists and sometimes pedestrians, all changing directions and speeds. Therefore, accidents are likely to occur. And unfortunately when they do, it can be chaotic and sometimes deadly. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the top reasons traditional intersects can be dangerous are: failure to yield (running a red light or stop sign) and failure to see oncoming or conflicting traffic (obstructed vision).
A Hopeful Solution
Roundabouts are becoming increasingly common across the U.S. as states and municipalities seek new ways to increase traffic flow while reducing accidents and vehicle emissions. Roundabouts, which are smaller than traditional traffic circles, accomplish all three goals. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, roundabouts have been proven to be the safest type of circle intersection.
Statistically, roundabouts are much safer to negotiate than traditional traffic intersections. Roundabouts reduce common crashes because of the way traffic flows. They are also more efficient, less costly, and are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional intersections. Studies have shown roundabouts reduce common types of crashes like T-bone, head-on, and rear-end crashes, that can cause fatalities.
Russ Rader at the IIHS said, “[r]oundabouts are becoming more common. Many communities are beginning to recognize that roundabouts are the ideal solution to fix several problems – they not only improve safety, but they also reduce congestion and fuel consumption.”
Obviously, vehicle accidents are still going to occur…at least for now. The goal is to make them less frequent and less fatal. Chances are you’ll be seeing a few more roundabouts in your future. And hopefully, a lot less car wrecks.
The Morrissey Law Firm, P.C., is located in Springfield, Missouri, and focuses in personal injury and wrongful death trial work. If you need a personal injury or wrongful death attorney, please contact us to schedule a consultation.