How roundabouts may save lives

Car accidents cause many injuries and deaths in West Virginia every year. Unfortunately, traffic signals and speed limits are not enough to stop negligent drivers from causing serious collisions. Experts suggest that roundabouts may save lives and be more effective than traffic lights at preventing serious accidents.

Traffic lights can reduce the number of accidents at an intersection; however, the collisions that do occur tend to be serious. Roundabouts reduce the risk of serious accidents by eliminating the problem of whether or not there is enough time for a driver to get through the intersection. Drivers may simply look to their left to make sure the roadway is clear before entering a roundabout.

State departments of transportation are building roundabouts in rural areas with the goal of reducing traffic accidents and reducing the number of deaths to zero. In North Carolina, state engineers estimate that a roundabout that will cost $1.2 million to build will save $2.5 million per year in reduced accident and injury costs. Engineers estimate that the roundabout will reduce injuries by about 89 percent based on crash history analysis.

A car accident can cause a significant disruption in a person's life, costing them medical bills, lost wages and rehabilitation expenses. Furthermore, crashes can cause damages that are harder to calculate such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. A personal injury attorney may be able to help a car accident victim file a claim against a negligent driver. Legal counsel could help claimants prove in court why a negligent driver should be held liable. For example, in some cases, a crash reconstruction expert may determine how a crash was caused.

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