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Missouri Sunset

Counties look to roundabouts to reduce rural traffic fatalities

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Posted on August 27, 2018

Missouri drivers may be safer on roadways that have replaced traffic lights with roundabouts. Experts say that while traffic lights are better at reducing the overall number of accidents, the collisions that do happen are more severe. Accidents at roundabouts are less likely to be fatal and more likely to only result in minor injuries.

This is what led a county in North Carolina to replace an intersection marked by stop signs with a roundabout in June. In 2011, a 21-year-old woman was killed in a car accident at the intersection when another driver ran a stop sign. Although additional signs were put up to warn of the stop ahead, two more accidents happened there that resulted in serious injuries. The roundabout cost $1.2 million, but according to state engineers, it will cut down on accidents by 89 percent and save $2.5 million in crash-related costs. One advantage of roundabouts is that unlike stop signs and traffic lights, they do not require drivers to estimate whether they have time to get through an intersection. Instead, they just have to look left.

North Carolina developers are planning on building several more roundabouts in rural areas. The state’s transportation department is involved in Vision Zero, an initiative that originated in Sweden in the 1990s and spread throughout the globe. Its aim is to reduce traffic fatalities to zero.

Despite these precautions, there are still a number of fatalities on roads throughout the country, and even car accidents with no fatalities can result in catastrophic injuries. If a driver causes an accident that injures others, they may be financially responsible for the injured person’s expenses. An injured person who receives an inadequate offer of compensation after a motor vehicle accident may want to consider filing a lawsuit.