Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers: Roundabouts Can Curb AccidentsMarch 25, 2017
According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 40% of car accidents and over 20% of traffic fatalities in the United States take place at busy intersections. This is not surprising considering many intersections have multiple lanes with traffic signals directing cars traveling in a number of different directions, often during rush hour when people are in a hurry to get home. One possible solution to this problem is to replace busy intersections with roundabouts, which may help prevent serious wrecks by eliminating many of the potential conflict points that are associated with intersections.
In effort to reduce the number of accidents in his own city, Jim Brainard, the mayor of Carmel, Indiana proposed the idea of replacing intersections with roundabouts after visiting Europe during law school and witnessing firsthand how smoothly and safely the roundabouts kept traffic flowing. While the initial reaction to the proposal was not great, that quickly changed after residents began to get used to the improved flow of traffic. The concept has been so successful that Carmel celebrated the installation of its 100th roundabout this past November.
Since 1997, when Carmel installed its first roundabout, city officials report an 80% reduction in injury-producing accidents, and a 40% reduction in car accidents overall. According to the street commissioner for Carmel, there are 32 points of conflict, a term used by engineers to describe the space within an intersection where two vehicles could cross paths. In contrast, the typical roundabout only has eight points of conflict, which is 25% less than that of an intersection.
Drivers making left turns at busy intersections are particularly vulnerable because they have conflict points with drivers coming from opposite directions as well as those who are making left turns or attempting a U-turn. In fact, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data, over 50% of cross path accidents occur when drivers attempt to make a left turn into and across lanes at intersections.
Financial Benefit of Roundabouts
In addition to the safety benefits, roundabouts can also save a significant amount of money. The city of Carmel saved approximately $125,000 in building and maintenance costs. In addition, the city’s citizens pay some of the lowest insurance premiums in the state. Studies by the Insurance Institute for Highways Safety show that roundabouts are responsible for a reduction in injury causing crashes of up to 80%.
While roundabouts are not a solution for all intersection issues, they have significantly reduced the number of crashes at intersections across the country. Not every intersection warrants a roundabout, particularly if it is a small intersection, which would likely involve tearing up sidewalks or requiring permission to take up space on private property. However, in cities like Carmel, Indiana, the safety benefits and financial savings are clear.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Car Accident Victims
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident, the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. We will closely examine the circumstances of your case, including the exact location of the accident, so that we can determine who is responsible for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. Our dedicated team will pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.