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Roundabouts may reduce car accident injuries

When people in Missouri head out for a drive in rural areas, they may encounter unexpectedly dangerous roads. Rural intersections are often joined only by a stop sign, yet the two roads coming together may have speed limits of up to 55 miles per hour. The danger of these intersections can be exacerbated when visibility is lowered due to poor weather conditions, little visible light at night or obstructive vegetation. As a result, some of these rural roads may see a disproportionate number of serious traffic accidents.

In order to address these concerns, many localities have installed traffic lights at the site of frequent car crashes. However, while lights are proven to reduce the number of accidents, they may do little to lessen the severity of those that do occur. For this reason, traffic engineers are considering the possibilities of roundabouts for rural intersections. Roundabouts are less effective than traffic lights at reducing the number of accidents at a specific location, but they are strongly associated with a sharp reduction in fatalities and severe injury crashes.

When people drive toward a traffic circle, they need to slow down in order to enter the intersection. On the other hand, when people enter an intersection controlled by a stop sign or a traffic light, they may speed up in order to outrun oncoming traffic or a change in the light. Statistics show that the construction of a roundabout often pays for itself within a year due to decreased costs related to severe injuries and emergency response.

Auto accidents can cause severe injuries and even fatalities, and accident victims may sustain permanent disabilities. In many cases, these crashes are caused by dangerous, drunk or distracted drivers. A personal injury lawyer can help people injured by someone else's negligent driving pursue compensation for their damages, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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