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Roundabouts can save lives on the road

Intersections can be a point of trouble for Louisiana drivers on the roadway; these conjunctions of major roads can be common sites for car accidents. Some types of accidents common at intersections have been fatal or led to a number of serious injuries. This is one reason why traffic engineers have advocated for the construction of a greater number of roundabouts to manage traffic at popular intersections.

A study conducted in Minnesota for the Department of Transportation examined 144 roundabouts throughout the state and found that fatal car crashes declined by 86 percent at intersections following the construction of the roundabout. This decline was not accompanied by a similar decline in more minor accidents that led to property damage; however, the more serious accidents were significantly reduced by the change to roundabouts.

Engineers speculate that one reason for the significant improvements upon the construction of a roundabout is the elimination of so-called "T-bone" accidents. In these car crashes, the front of one vehicle crashes directly into the side of another. Because of the circular structure of a roundabout, it is not possible to have a T-bone accident. The flow of the roundabout also impels approaching drivers to slow down as they enter the intersection, helping to protect lives. On the other hand, property damage crashes, in which cars are damaged but no people are injured, climbed by 75 percent in roundabouts which have different numbers of circulating lanes in different places.

Construction of roundabouts and other roadway improvements can help to improve safety. However, drunk driving, texting while driving and other negligent driver behavior can always be a menace on the road, causing serious personal injuries and lasting damages. A personal injury lawyer may provide representation and counsel to people injured in a car accident through no fault of their own in order to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other costs suffered.

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