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Placing roundabouts at rural intersections saves lives

Rural highway intersections in Illinois and across the U.S. can be deadly. Many of these crossroads use stop signs or traffic lights to govern fast-moving vehicles, which can lead to a significant number of serious car accidents, injuries and fatalities. To mitigate the problem, some states are turning to roundabouts.

For example, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is installing roundabouts in many rural communities. Studies have found that roundabouts are better than traffic lights at reducing traffic-related injuries and deaths. This is because roundabouts force vehicles to slow down as they approach an intersection. They also only require drivers to look to their left to determine if there is oncoming traffic, which reduces the risk of driver error.

Statistics show that traffic lights cut down on the number of accidents that occur at intersections. However, when crashes do occur at traffic lights, they tend to be serious. On the other hand, roundabouts don't reduce the number of accidents, but they markedly reduce the likelihood and severity of injuries when collisions happen. They also save money. For instance, North Carolina engineers estimated that one new Robeson County roundabout would decrease injury accidents by 89 percent and save the state $2.5 million each year in reduced accident costs.

Intersection car crashes frequently result in severe injuries, medical expenses, disability and lost wages. A personal injury attorney may be able to help the victim of an intersection car accident recover compensation for these damages. For example, by gathering police reports, witness testimony and other evidence, the attorney may be able to prove that the other driver was to blame for the crash. As a result, the victim might be awarded a monetary settlement for his or her losses.

Source: The News & Observer, "How rural traffic roundabouts can save lives," Caroline Wolfe, Aug. 3, 2018

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