When California motorists are behind the wheel, they will frequently encounter some of the most dangerous places for driving - intersections. These junction points that bring two or more roads together can be hot spots for crashes as cars come together at various rates of speed and driving in different directions. Intersections and junctions are a frequent location for crashes of all kinds, but sometimes those accidents can be more serious, leading to serious and often fatal injuries.
One mechanism to enhance roadway safety has been the construction of roundabouts, which cause vehicles to approach the intersection more slowly and enter into a circle, rather than crossing a perpendicular junction. A study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation that examined 144 urban and rural roundabouts found that the construction of these types of interchanges made a significant difference in roadway deaths and injuries. Fatal car accidents were cut by 86 percent at the intersections after the installation of roundabouts, and serious injury crashes dropped by 83 percent. Crashes that caused any kind of bodily injury fell by 61 percent at single-lane roundabouts.
The study attributed the greatest portion of this benefit to the elimination of T-bone intersections, in which the front end of one vehicle smashes into the side of the other car. These types of accidents can cause major injuries for both drivers and passengers in both vehicles and are a significant source of fatalities. The construction of the roundabout stops vehicles from encountering each other at right angles, preventing T-bones from occurring.
Changes in road construction can do a great deal to improve safety. Unfortunately, however, engineering cannot eliminate negligent behaviors like drunk driving or texting while driving. People who have been hurt in a car crash caused by another driver might find it advisable to have legal representation when seeking compensation for their medical expenses and other losses.