Columbia T-Bone Crashes Could Decline with Roundabouts

Intersection accidents can occur when a motorist fails to yield the right of way or disobeys a stop sign or traffic signal. A right angle crash is a common accident at intersections. One car hits the side of another vehicle, with the two forming a T. These are some of the most dangerous car accidents on the roads because the side of a car provides little protection from the force of impact. bent-keep-left-sign-409861-m

An experienced side-impact accident lawyer knows deadly or permanent injuries are likely to result. Side airbags also do not do as effective a job at preventing death or permanent damage in a T-Bone crash as front airbags do in head-on collisions.

Prevention of T-Bone accidents should be a top goal for making roads safer because these crash types are so dangerous. Changing the way intersections work is one important step towards reducing pedestrian accident rates. Intersections where high numbers of collisions are occurring may be changed from traditional four-way intersections to roundabouts.

Roundabouts Prevent T-Bone Collisions and are Safer Than Intersections

A roundabout is a circular intersection. Motorists yield before entering the roundabout and can turn into the circle when there is a gap. Drivers who are in the roundabout are not forced to stop for other vehicles or to stop at traffic signals. They follow the curve and turn off onto roads branching from the roundabout.

Roundabouts can be safer than typical intersections for multiple reasons as summarized by state Departments of Transportation and a UC.edu research paper:

  • Roundabouts result in drivers traveling at slower speeds than drivers in traditional intersections. Slow speeds reduce crash risks. When collisions happen at slow speeds, crashes tend to be less serious.
  • Roundabouts result in lower angle collisions, rather than T-Bone crashes which are high-angle collisions. Lower angle collisions are not as dangerous and injuries not as severe.
  • Fewer points of conflict exist at roundabouts. Points of conflict are locations were accidents could occur. In most standard four-way intersections, 32 possible points of conflict are present. In roundabouts, only eight conflict points exist.

In the U.S. some motorists object to roundabouts being used because they can cause confusion for motorists. Other countries do not have this problem and roundabouts are widely utilized. In 2003, more than 30,000 roundabouts existed on French roads compared to 1,000 roundabouts on U.S. roads in 2007.

Reluctance towards the use of roundabouts should be overcome to make roads safer, bring death tolls down, and reduce delays for motorists. In 2009, a Transportation Research Board study found an 84 percent reduction in injury-causing accidents and a 100 percent reduction in fatal collisions at 17 intersections with high-speed approaches when the intersections were changed to roundabouts. Changing more dangerous intersections to roundabouts could save lives.

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