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Roundabouts worry drivers but offer many benefits

Drivers in New York and around the country tend to become apprehensive when they approach a roundabout, which may explain why only 5,000 or so of the intersection alternatives have been built in the United States. Roundabouts are extremely common in Europe because they improve traffic flow and reduce pollution, but it is the road safety benefits they provide that could finally convince American drivers to increase them.

Car accidents that occur at intersections often involve drivers who run through red lights or stop signs and then strike the side of another vehicle at high speed. This kind of crash kills or seriously injures thousands of road users every year in the United States. Roundabouts have made this type of collision extremely rare in Europe. This is because cars using a roundabout all move in the same direction and travel at much lower speeds. Roundabouts also greatly reduce rush-hour congestion and have been known to completely eliminate daily backups that once stretched for hundreds of yards.

When researchers from the Federal Highway Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked into the safety benefits of roundabouts, they discovered that replacing traditional intersections with traffic circles reduced property-damage accidents by 40% and injuries by 75%. Roundabouts also save lives. According to the FHA and IIHS, replacing an intersection with a roundabout lowers accident fatalities by 90%.

In order to prevail in a car accident lawsuit, an experienced personal injury attorney must convince the jury that their client suffered injury, loss or damage due to the defendant's negligent actions. This is sometimes fairly straightforward when the accident in question took place in an intersection as local municipalities often install cameras on traffic signals to catch red-light runners. When pursuing this kind of litigation, attorneys may seek damages to compensate accident victims for their property damage, medical bills and lost income.

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Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C.
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East Aurora, NY 14052

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