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How Safe Are Roundabouts?

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,Many vehicle safety advocates, including the Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHSA), claim that roundabouts offer more safety than traditional road intersections. A roundabout is a circular intersection which has certain characteristics. These characteristics include the flow of traffic going counterclockwise around a center island; vehicles which are entering the circle must yield to the traffic already in the circle; and all vehicles traveling the circle are doing so at a low speed, usually 15 to 25 MPH.

Studies show that when regular intersections are converted from traditional traffic lights or stop signs to roundabouts, the injury crash rate is reduced significantly. One study revealed that rate is decreased by 80 percent. The same study also found that the overall crash rate declined by 40 percent.

Another study looked at 35 different intersections that were converted to roundabouts. Those results showed that the injury crash rate decreased by 75 percent and the overall number of crashes were reduced by 37 percent.

A roundabout study that was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that the four most common crashes which occurred at these locations were entering-circulating, rear-end, run-off-road, and sideswipe accidents. One of the most common type scenario of accidents was the vehicle crashing into the center island, and these accidents typically occurred because there was speeding involved. This data from the IIHS study showed no head-on collisions or right-angle (also known as T-bone) crashes at any of the roundabouts in the study.

Besides speeding, there are other issues which can negate the overall safety of the roundabout. One of the more common is when a driver entering a roundabout fails to yield to the traffic already in the circle. Another common reason is when a vehicle stops in the middle of the circle. Motorists who are unfamiliar with roundabouts may become nervous – or even panic – when entering one. Not realizing the dangers they may be creating, they suddenly stop in the middle of the circle, which can lead to a car crash.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced Lake County personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the negligent driver. Call the law firm of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 today to schedule a consultation.




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