Many Virginia drivers know of specific intersections that are frequently the site of serious traffic accidents, especially in some of the more rural areas of the state. Because they receive lower traffic density than urban areas, some rural intersections may be marked by only a stop sign. At the same time, however, they may have high speed limits with cars legally traveling at up to 55 mph. This means that despite the low traffic density, when an accident does happen, it can be severe or even deadly. The problem is exacerbated at night, in bad weather or when visibility is obstructed due to bushes, trees and vegetation.
Some cities are taking initiative in an attempt to reduce the number of car accidents, injuries and fatalities at these key intersections. Traffic lights can be installed, as they are shown to reduce accident rates successfully. At the same time, however, while they reduce the number of crashes, those that continue to happen can remain severe. Another approach involves the construction of roundabouts or traffic circles. While there is a smaller reduction in overall accident numbers associated with roundabouts, there is a sharp drop in the severity of crashes.
Roundabouts force speeding drivers to slow down before they enter the loop. Because there is no timed light or stop sign, there is little incentive to speed up in order to outrace a changing light or oncoming traffic. In addition, the costs of installing a roundabout can easily be more than covered in a year due to reduced costs related to injury crashes.
When people are hurt in car accidents due to negligent or distracted drivers, they can suffer severe injuries and lifelong disabilities. A personal injury lawyer may help people injured by another person's dangerous driving to pursue compensation for their damages, including lost wages and medical bills.