Chance of a car accident may be reduced by roundabouts

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The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the number of accidents at intersections can be reduced by as much as 35 percent if that intersection contains a roundabout. The estimates also show that the instance of a fatal car accident at an intersection can be decreased by an astonishing 90 percent with a roundabout. Many drivers may not yet be convinced of these numbers, but the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) seems convinced.

As a matter of fact, the SCDOT’s safety program is in the process of drafting a policy that would make a roundabout the first improvement to problematic intersections in our state. There are already nine roundabouts in the state, and there are plans to build about 19 more. There have been mixed responses from drivers about the convenience of the roundabouts.

Some people believe they are more confusing, while others find them easy to use. As with anything new, it will take some time for people to adjust to using them. Only time will tell if the estimates of the Federal Highway Administration bear out.

There may currently be disagreements about the effectiveness and use of roundabouts, but what most everyone in South Carolina can agree on is that saving lives is a priority. Anyone that has ever been involved in a serious accident or has lost a loved one to a car accident would agree. For people who are involved in an accident or lose a loved one in a crash, state law provides for the filing of a civil action to recover financial losses incurred as a result.

Source:, “More roundabouts planned for area intersections,” Alex Holley, July 23, 2013


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