Roundabouts are a rare sight in New Hampshire and many other parts of the country even though they reduce traffic congestion and prevent accidents. Traffic circles are ubiquitous in European countries like the United Kingdom because they are inexpensive to install and improve road safety, but drivers in the United States do not like them and often protest when local authorities propose using them to replace traditional intersections.
Indiana city becomes America’s roundabout capital
Residents of a city in central Indiana may have felt the same way when their mayor ordered the construction of several roundabouts in 1996. Carmel now has 126 traffic circles and has been dubbed the “Roundabout Capital of the United States.” The traffic circles are credited with reducing intersection crashes by 40% and accidents involving injuries by 75%, and local drivers now pay lower auto insurance premiums as a result. The improved traffic flow that the roundabouts ushered in has also improved the city’s air quality.
How roundabouts improve safety
Roundabouts make intersections safer because they force the vehicles using them to travel in the same direction. When there are accidents, they tend to be low-speed side and rear-end collisions that rarely cause serious injuries. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Federal Highway Administration concluded that traffic circles reduce fatal intersection auto accidents by 90%.
Intersection accident lawsuits
Drivers who cause accidents in intersections because they were distracted or ignored red lights might deny responsibility and claim that they had the right of way. There are a number of ways that experienced personal injury attorneys may refute such claims. Attorneys might check police reports or speak with witnesses of the incident. Attorneys may also check the intersection where the crash occurred for red light or surveillance cameras.