Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

Roundabouts can significantly reduce accident fatalities

Replacing busy intersections with roundabouts could potentially save lives in Connecticut and around the country according to the findings contained in a report. The Minnesota Department of Transportation studied traffic accidents that took place at 144 intersections both before and after traffic lights were replaced by roundabouts, and they found that fatalities plunged by 86 percent when drivers were forced to slow down and all travel in the same direction.

Roundabouts come close to eliminating T-bone accidents that involve the front of one car colliding with the side of another, and this is why traffic planners and road safety advocates have long called for them to become more familiar sights across the country. However, roundabouts are confusing to motorists not familiar with them, and they are difficult to navigate for tractor-trailer drivers. They have also been criticized for increasing pedestrian accidents and injuries.

While the report suggests that fatal crashes decline significantly when intersections are replaced by roundabouts, it also reveals that minor car accidents involving property damage only become far more commonplace. The researchers found that these types of accidents increased by an alarming 200 percent when roundabouts with multiple circulating lanes and complex approach patterns were built. However, this was more than offset by the fall in fatalities and an 83 percent reduction in the number of serious injury crashes.

Connecticut lawsuits over intersection accidents often involve claims of comparative negligence, and experienced personal injury attorneys may expect reckless drivers to claim that they had the right of way or the other vehicle involved was speeding when representing clients who have been injured in such a crash. Attorneys may prepare for these arguments by studying police reports closely and checking the scene of the accident for cameras that may have footage of the events as they unfolded.

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