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Doubts arise as cities replace traffic lights with roundabouts

There are only about 5,000 roundabouts in Oklahoma and across the U.S., making them a rare sight for most drivers. However, more and more cities are replacing traffic lights with these structures in the effort to improve traffic flow and safety. According to statistics, the roundabouts are, in fact, doing their job effectively.

For example, the city of Carmel, Indiana, is the unofficial "Roundabout Capital of America" and sees 40% fewer property-damage crashes at those intersections that are now roundabouts. Crashes with injuries are down by 75%. Drivers there enjoy lower insurance rates and save gas that would otherwise have been wasted by idling in front of a red light.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Federal Highway Administration report that, nationwide, there are 37% fewer crashes (and 75% fewer accidents involving injuries) at roundabouts than at signalized intersections. Crash fatalities have seen a 90% drop. These are major improvements when one considers how more than 10,000 motorists died in intersection crashes in 2018.

Those who are unfamiliar with roundabouts have expressed doubts and concerns. The number one danger with such drivers is that they think of roundabouts as if they were merging onto a freeway. In reality, they must yield to any cars already in the roundabout.

Crashes do occur at roundabouts, as they do anywhere else, and negligence is almost always to blame. Victims of car accidents who believe they are entitled to compensation may want to speak to an attorney who works in personal injury law. In Oklahoma, plaintiffs can recover damages as long as their degree of fault is less than that of the defendant. Any degree of fault, though, will lower the amount that can be recovered. With a lawyer, victims may strive for a reasonable settlement out of court.

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