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Roundabout Intersections Could Be The Key To Reducing Intersection Accidents


When it comes to making traffic and the roadways safer, we tend to put a lot of emphasis on the design and safety features of the vehicle. But what about the road itself? Could there be a way of designing a road—specifically, an intersection—that can make it safer, while still effectively moving traffic?

The answer is yes, and it is a design that has been implemented more so in Europe than in America, but which has, according to most statistical analysis, been successful at reducing the amount of traffic accidents.

Welcome to the Roundabout

It’s called a roundabout, which you may have seen as just a giant circle of traffic, all flowing in one direction , with “exit points” allowing drivers to get to the road they want to get to (or just continue in the exact same direction).

We already know that roundabouts reduce the amount of traffic accidents, and the severity of accidents, in places where they have been installed to replace traditional traffic lights. But why do roundabouts work?

No Lights

One major reason is exactly what the roundabouts are replacing—there are no traffic lights, or traffic signals that can be blown by drivers (not to mention, no traffic lights to go out, be out of order, or to get damaged in high winds).

And, while a distracted driver can easily miss a traffic light, or the color of a traffic light, a roundabout is much larger; it is a complete alteration in the flow and direction of the entire road. It is very difficult for even the most distracted driver to “miss” a roundabout.

Same Direction

Adding to the inherent safety features is the fact that traffic in a roundabout is going in the same direction. That lowers the chance of a head on collision; even a car that wrongfully enters the roundabout without yielding, will hit a car facing, and going in the same direction.

Slower Speed

Roundabouts also slow down the vehicles in them. Whereas someone can blow through a traffic light at high speeds, it is impossible to go very fast in a roundabout and still control the vehicle. Speed is the primary factor in determining how dangerous, or even how fatal, a car accident is.

That means that the collisions that do happen, are less likely to be serious in nature, given the lowered speed of the vehicles in the roundabout.

The Negatives

There are some drawbacks to roundabouts, the primary one being the physical space needed to build them. Roundabouts take up more space than traditional intersections do making them less than ideal for cramped, urban metropolitan centers.

Additionally, more careless drivers that may want to speed through the roundabout, may find themselves losing control of the vehicle if the speed exceeds the handling capabilities of the car being driven.

Call the Knoxville car accident lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today to see if you can receive compensation for any injuries you may have sustained in a car or automobile accident.




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