Traffic circles can reduce injury crash numbers

When people in West Virginia drive on rural roads, they could encounter some very dangerous intersections. Despite the fact that these roads see relatively little traffic, the crashes that occur there can be serious for a number of reasons. These roads are commonly joined by only stop signs. However, they can have speed limits as high as 55 mph.

In an attempt to reduce the number of crashes that occur in these locations, traffic authorities often install traffic lights. Lights are shown to reduce the likelihood of a crash, but the car accidents that do occur can still be severe. Because of this, many localities are installing roundabouts at rural intersections in an attempt to reduce the seriousness of motor vehicle accidents. Crashes at roundabouts are less likely to involve serious injuries and fatalities, even if the overall number of accidents is less likely to decrease substantially.

Drivers are forced to slow down when they approach roundabouts. The opposite often occurs at intersections with timed lights or stop signs. The traffic circle gives no incentive to drivers to increase their speed in order to “beat” oncoming traffic or a change in the light. In fact, when roundabouts are installed, they often pay for themselves within a year through a reduction in costs associated with severe injury crashes.

People who are hurt in car accidents may suffer severe injuries and lifelong disabilities as a result of dangerous or negligent drivers. A victim could work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for damages such as medical bills and lost wages.