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Study reveals that roundabouts can reduce traffic fatalities

The number of fatal traffic accidents in Pennsylvania and around the country could be reduced if traditional intersections get replaced with roundabouts, according to a recent study from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. MnDOT researchers looked at the number of fatal and property damage accidents that took place at 144 junctions both before and after roundabouts were built. They found that road deaths plunged by 86 percent after traffic lights were replaced by traffic circles.

Accidents that take place at intersections are frequently catastrophic in nature because the vehicles involved are often being driven at significant speeds. City planners understand that traffic moves in the same direction on roundabouts and drivers must slow down before entering them. However, they remain relatively rare in most parts of the country because they confuse and unnerve drivers. Roundabouts are also difficult for tractor-trailer drivers to navigate around and more dangerous for pedestrians.

While the MnDOT study found that roundabouts greatly reduce traffic fatalities, they also discovered that property accidents soar after they are built. Roundabouts with two lanes at each approach were responsible for a 200 percent increase in property accidents according to the study, and the number of minor car accidents rose by 75 percent when roundabouts were built that featured a different number of lanes at each approach.

Determining fault after a T-bone accident generally involves finding out who had the right of way and who ran through a red light or stop sign. When police reports are inconclusive, personal injury attorneys representing victims may conduct their own inquiries. These efforts could include viewing the footage recorded by nearby traffic or surveillance cameras and speaking with individuals who live or work in the area.

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