There are many different ways that cities look to improve the flow of traffic and reduce the number of potential traffic accidents before they happen. One method, called a roundabout, seems to be causing more Loudoun County traffic accidents than originally anticipated.
According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, drivers are failing to follow the two rules that are necessary to make roundabouts safe: speed and right of way.
A plan is in the works by the VDOT to make $300,000 worth of modifications to the roundabout located where Routes 50 and 15 intersect at Gilbert’s corner. Presently, there are two lanes that drivers can navigate through in the roundabout, but after the modifications are complete, there will be single lanes for all approaches leading to the roundabout. The goal is that the single lane approaches will reduce speeds and eliminate confusion for motorists unfamiliar with the rules of the roundabout.
Jim Zeller, a VDOT engineer, stated that the major downside to the Loudoun County roundabout was the fact that motorists just drive too fast, leading to too many crashes.
In 2007, the year before the roundabout was installed, there were 11 traffic accidents, prompting the addition. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, there were 36, 31, and 30 crashes respectively- nearly three times more accidents than in the years prior to the roundabout’s installation.
Because the speed limit in the roundabout is 25 mph, most of the Loudoun County accidents are minor, causing less damage than those occurring on a straight-away. Still, many of these crashes do involve passenger injury.
Statistics in 2011 showed that there were around 2000 roundabouts in the United States, but the numbers may be increasing as more and more countries and cities around the world continue to add the traffic mediums, replacing traditional intersections, stop lights, and signs.
Hopefully, the upcoming modifications to the Loudoun County roundabout will successfully reduce the number of traffic accidents and injuries in the years to come.
If you, or someone you love, are injured in a traffic accident, the Virginia car accident attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins may be able to help you collect the compensation you deserve. Contact our Bethesda personal injury law office today at 202-296-0666 to schedule a no-cost meeting to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.