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Why are more Missouri towns installing roundabouts?

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Car Accidents

Heavy traffic can be both frustrating and dangerous. High volumes of traffic can lead to traffic jams and longer commutes. The more vehicles there are on the road, the more likely collisions become. Especially when traffic slows down near an intersection, people may become quite aggressive in heavy traffic. Drivers may proceed through a red light even though they could have stopped when it was yellow. They might turn right on a red light directly in front of oncoming traffic.

The conduct of motorists at intersections can directly lead to severe collisions that cause worse traffic conditions. Municipal authorities in Missouri have started installing roundabouts as a way of helping to reduce collision risk.

How roundabouts help

The installation of roundabouts tends to result in fewer collisions at previously dangerous intersections. They help people avoid crashes even when they don’t consistently make safe driving choices. The need to stop and monitor surroundings at an intersection can seem like an inconvenience for someone already frustrated by heavy traffic. Roundabouts potentially eliminate the need to come to a complete stop and thus reduce the risk of people causing crashes by performing rolling stops without properly monitoring their surroundings.

When there is no approaching traffic, someone can enter the roundabout and promptly proceed through the intersection. When there is already traffic in the roundabout, someone only needs to wait for vehicles to pass them to take their turn. Instead of having vehicles traveling in multiple different directions, all of the vehicles following a roundabout move in the same general direction.

Overall, roundabouts can improve driver safety. They eliminate direct turns, including left-hand turns, which have a strong association with intersection collisions. They can also ease traffic congestion at some of the busiest intersections in an area. Unfortunately, roundabouts do come with a degree of risk. Drivers who are unfamiliar with them may stop and cause additional traffic delays if a roundabout is where they encountered a four-way stop or traffic light before.

Even the best road design cannot eliminate human error and the possibility of a motor vehicle collision. Drivers who understand traffic hazards and safety risks can make choices that help reduce their risk of a car wreck. They can also take appropriate steps to hold other drivers accountable for causing collisions by pursuing compensation for medical costs and lost wages.