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Roundabouts reduce car accidents that result in injuries

Illinois drivers may be interested to learn that it has long been believed by many traffic engineers that roundabouts could be safer than busy traditional intersections. A study of 144 roundabouts in Minnesota showed that the fatal crash rate was reduced by about 86 percent after installation.

One traffic engineer involved in the study said that the roundabouts eliminated "T-bone" accidents, which occur when one car crashes head-on into the side of another vehicle. The roundabouts force drivers to slow down so that they can merge. Once a driver is in the roundabout, he or she is moving with the rest of traffic, reducing the risk of a major car crash. Ultimately, car accidents that resulted in serious injuries were reduced by 83 percent, and the crash rates were down 61 percent in single-lane roundabouts.

However, the number of accidents that resulted in minor property damage increased. The number of these types of crashes rose 75 percent in roundabouts that have a different number of circulating lanes that differed based on the approach. In full dual roundabouts, which have two circulating lanes on all approaches, the rate of property damage car accidents rose more than 200 percent.

Regardless of what type of intersection drivers come to, they are responsible for following the laws of the road and staying alert to prevent car accidents. If a driver fails to stop at a stop sign or runs a red light and causes an accident that results in serious injuries, those who became injured could hold the driver liable. A personal injury attorney may gather police reports, statements from witnesses and medical information to not only show that the other driver was liable for the accident but to illustrate the types of damages that should be sought.

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