Opinions about whether traffic circles are safer than traditional stop-sign or signal-controlled intersections vary widely. According to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), they are. In fact, that study showed that at intersections where stop signs or traffic signals used for traffic control were replaced with traffic circles, also called roundabouts, there was a 75 percent reduction in injury-related crashes.
Additional studies by the IIHS and the Federal Highway Administration have also shown that roundabouts usually achieve the following:
A 37 percent reduction in overall collisions
A 90 percent reduction in fatal car accidents
A 40 percent reduction in pedestrian accidents
Why are roundabouts safer?
Below are a few reasons:
Lower travel speeds: Speeds in a roundabout are typically between 15 and 20 miles per hour because drivers must slow down and yield to traffic before entering. The few collisions that do occur in roundabouts are usually minor and cause few injuries because of the lower speeds.
One-way travel: The gentle curve and counterclockwise one-way travel into the intersection eliminate the chance for T-bone and head–on
No light to beat: Because traffic flows constantly through a traffic circle drivers do not feel the need to speed up to beat the light.
The Dangers of a Four-Way Intersection
There are 32 points of conflict in a standard four-way intersection, while traffic circles have only eight conflict points. Conflict points play the largest role in causing accidents at intersections, especially in high-density areas. That is partly because there are people heading in opposing directions, and possibly making U-turns. There are also higher rates of speed to contend with.
Call the dedicated New Jersey car accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP at 732-777-0100 if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in New Jersey, or contact us online for a free consultation. Our offices are conveniently located in Red Bank, Toms River, and Edison, New Jersey, and we proudly serve clients throughout the state.