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Opinions differ about safety of roundabouts

 Posted on October 12,2015 in Car Accidents

Although roundabouts are meant to slow traffic down and prevent accidents, many people believe that they are not right for California. In Berkeley, a roundabout that was constructed on Gilman Street near Interstate 80 is thought to be causing accidents rather than preventing them. However, proponents of roundabouts argue that they just take getting used to and ultimately cause traffic to flow better.

According to traffic studies, roundabouts can prevent accidents in an area by up to 47 percent. Roundabouts have also been shown to reduce traffic delays by 23 percent. Cars going through roundabouts do not always need to come to a complete stop, and the time that is saved can result in a less clogged intersection. Pedestrians may be safer crossing the street near roundabouts because they only have to look out for cars traveling in one direction.

People who are opposed to roundabouts say that they should not be installed in areas where drivers travel at high speeds. When drivers approach a roundabout at 60 to 70 mph, they may come across signage that they do not understand and end up causing an accident. In areas with heavy traffic, it may be difficult for drivers in a roundabout to find a break in traffic so that they can make a turn.

When an accident does occur in a roundabout, it may involve several vehicles. A person who has been injured in an accident may want to file a claim for damages against the driver who caused the accident. An attorney may be able to help an injured car accident victim to determine who is liable for their injuries and gather evidence to build a personal injury claim.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, "Roadshow: Are roundabouts right for California?," Gary Richards, Oct. 9, 2015

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