Roundabouts are gradually replacing traffic lights in many cities in Minnesota and across the country. Wisconsin boasts the most roundabouts of any other state with 432, and Minnesota makes the top 10 with 252 roundabouts. Though they are a relatively new concept, with only 5,000 in existence in the United States, many experts are encouraging their implementation as they are believed to be safer than traditional stoplights.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than 10,000 people died in car crashes at intersections in 2018. The majority of these deaths resulted due to head-on collisions, T-bone crashes, and high-impact right-angle accidents. Red-light running and illegal turns often cause these types of accidents.
Data from the FHWA shows that roundabouts are typically safer than traditional signalized intersections. In 2018, there were 37% fewer crashes and 75% fewer accidents that resulted in injuries in roundabouts versus regular stoplights. Though accidents still occur in roundabouts, they typically cause minor crashes. This is because roundabouts force drivers to slow down and all vehicles travel in the same direction when on a roundabout. Roundabouts also help traffic to flow better, preventing backups from occurring. Experts believe that as roundabouts are implemented in more cities that accidents will decrease and lives will be saved.
Accidents at intersections often result in catastrophic injuries that cause lost wages, pain, and suffering and expensive medical bills. Drivers have the responsibility to yield properly to traffic signals when approaching an intersection. If they don’t, they may have behaved negligently and may be responsible for damages. In this case, a driver who ran a red light and T-boned another vehicle didn’t properly yield to the red light. A lawyer might be able to file a civil suit on behalf of the injured parties. Medical and compensatory damages may be awarded to the victims.