Although somewhat confusing to drivers encountering them the first time, roundabouts are significantly safer than standard intersections. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the safety benefits of roundabouts result in a 35 percent annual reduction of overall crashes, a 90 percent annual decrease of fatal accidents, and a 76 percent annual reduction of overall intersection injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, attributes this decline in catastrophic accidents to the overall design of roundabouts and how that design affects traffic.
Circular Safety Benefits of Roundabout Design
Roundabouts are circular intersections, where a constant traffic flow is based upon yields (as opposed to traffic lights). Instead of vehicles dangerously crisscrossing their paths, as in conventional intersections, roundabouts force traffic to follow a single counterclockwise direction, and use exit lanes to funnel traffic to its desired locations.
When used properly, this elaborate design not only forces traffic to flow easily, but it also provides inherent benefits to limit the risk of serious accidents and injuries. These benefits include:
- Slower speeds. Due to the curve of the circle, as well as the short distances between a vehicle’s entry and exit points, a driver is not physically able speed through a roundabout intersection without running the risk of missing his exit or tipping his own car.
- Fewer acceleration and deceleration accidents. Since roundabouts are designed to keep traffic moving, vehicles no longer have to stop abruptly or accelerate quickly for changing lights.
- Fewer impact points. Roundabouts pretty much eliminate head-on and high speed side impact collisions, due to the fact that there are a significantly fewer potential traffic cross points for a collision. Standard intersections have 28 potential collision points (right and left turns, crisscrossing, etc.), while roundabouts have a mere eight possible points of impact (passing entrances and exits).
- Increase in pedestrian visibility. Roundabout crosswalks are placed before entrances, and slightly behind exit points, making it easier to see pedestrians; additionally, pedestrian accidents are dramatically decreased since there are no left-and turns.
Follow the Straight and Narrow to Get Your Accident Claim Approved
Although roundabouts are inherently safer than other intersections, reckless and poor driving can still put your family at risk. If you or a family member suffers from serious injuries due to a roundabout collision, you may be entitled to more compensation than you know. Don’t allow your insurance company to give you the runaround—let us help you find the most direct path to your injury settlement.
Contact us today for a free consultation and review of your case. When you’re a client, we treat you like family, and we never steer our family in the wrong direction. Call now to see how we can help you and yours.
Need advice on how to protect your family in case of future accidents? Download our free book, The Insiders Guide: What You Need to Know About Buying Auto Insurance, to make sure you have the right coverage for your family. You can also feel free to contact us for any further questions or concerns. Remember, helping you isn’t only our job, but our pleasure!