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The safety benefits of replacing intersections with roundabouts

Thousands of road users are killed or catastrophically injured in Louisiana and around the country each year in motor vehicle accidents that take place at intersections. The vast majority of intersections in the United States are controlled by stop signs or traffic lights, but research suggests that roundabouts would provide a far more effective way to prevent collisions that result in serious injury or death.

Roundabouts do not reduce the number of car accidents, but they do prevent what are known as T-bone collisions. These occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the side or another. T-bone accidents at intersections are usually caused by drivers who run through red lights or stop signs and often take place at high speeds. Roundabout force drivers to reduce speed, which leads to slower collisions and less severe injuries.

Building roundabouts is far more expensive than installing lights or signs, but local municipalities can recover their initial outlay and more in lower emergency services costs. The North Carolina Department of Transportation says that it spends about $1.2 million to reconfigure an intersection with a roundabout, but the state expects to save more than double that figure every year in lower injury and accident costs.

When representing car accident victims who were injured in a collision that took place at an intersection, experienced personal injury attorneys may visit the scene to look for red light or security cameras that could have captured the events as they unfolded. This is because these cases often hinge on establishing which driver had the right of way. Attorneys might also study police reports and seek to have the vehicles involved inspected. Many modern cars are equipped with autonomous safety systems that use cameras to monitor road conditions, and police reports could reveal that a driver was intoxicated or distracted when they crashed.

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