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Accidents at roundabouts are less serious

Kentucky intersections with roundabouts may experience fewer serious accidents than those with traffic lights. While traffic lights are better at reducing the number of accidents overall, the crashes that do occur at traffic lights are more likely to lead to serious injuries. Accidents at roundabouts are more likely to result in only minor injuries and fewer fatalities.

In North Carolina, more rural roundabouts are being installed to cut back on accidents. In June, one was placed at the site of a 2011 fatal collision. That accident killed a 21-year-old woman, but officials found that even after they put up additional signs warning drivers of the intersection, two more serious accidents occurred. One reason roundabouts are safer is that they do not require the driver to estimate whether it is possible to make it through the intersection. Instead, the driver only needs to look to the left to note whether anyone else is in the roundabout.

The installation of roundabouts in North Carolina is part of the Vision Zero project, an initiative started in the 1990s in Sweden and now spreading worldwide. Its aim is to lower the number of traffic fatalities to zero. Although there is an initial cost associated with building roundabouts, state engineers say the annual costs of accidents is much higher and will be reduced.

Despite these types of safety measures, motor vehicle accidents continue to happen because drivers are distracted, texting, drowsy or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a driver causes an accident, their insurance company may be responsible for covering the expenses of people injured in the accident. However, if the driver is uninsured or the insurance company's offer of compensation is not sufficient, the injured victim may wish to file a civil lawsuit.

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