Replacing stop signs and traffic lights with roundabouts at busy intersections in Pennsylvania and around the country could save countless lives each year according to road safety experts. Roundabouts, which are sometimes referred to as traffic circles, could also greatly reduce emergency services costs, according to road safety experts. The reason roundabouts can deliver these safety and cost saving benefits is because they slow down rather than stop traffic.
Roundabouts, which are extremely common in Europe, are rarely seen in the United States because many drivers do not understand how to use them, and collisions are common. However, researchers have found that the accidents that take place on roundabouts generally occur at low speeds and rarely cause catastrophic injuries. Crashes that take place at traditional intersections are often deadly head-on or broadside collisions that involve vehicles traveling quickly to avoid a red light.
These safety dividends were enough to prompt lawmakers in North Carolina to order roundabouts to be built at several intersections that had become known as accident hotspots. The construction, which began in June and is expected to cost $1.2 million, is part of the state's Road to Zero road safety initiative. Officials expect the roundabouts to reduce accident fatalities by up to 89 percent and save the Tar Heel State's taxpayers about $2.5 million each year.
The plaintiffs and defendants in car accident lawsuits often point the finger of blame at one another, and it is sometimes difficult to determine what transpired in the seconds before a collision. When accidents occur at intersections, these arguments usually come down to which driver had a green light at the time. Experienced personal injury attorneys may study police reports or the images captured by traffic light cameras to establish that their clients were struck and injured by motorists who ignored a red light or ran through a stop sign.