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New York sees increase in accidents at roundabouts

Posted On Fri, July 1, 2011

Though proponents of roundabouts say they are safer alternatives to intersections on the roadways, the installation of several in New York has led to an increase in accidents, according to the Times Union newspaper.

The paper reports that at 15 of the 20 roundabouts where an intersection previously existed, the accident rate has risen.

But Mark Kennedy, director of traffic and safety for the New York Department of Transportation, said the higher accident rate doesn't apply to all of the rotaries.

"We have found that single-lane roundabouts definitely reduce accidents," said Kennedy. "With multi-lane roundabouts, some are better, some are worse. There are two that are somewhat problematic."

Kennedy went on to tell the paper that the severity of accidents is limited at roundabouts as well, as the rate of speed is much slower.

A local businessowner in the town of Malta, whose business is located near a roundabout, told the paper he thinks the higher accident rate is due to drivers not knowing who has the right of way.

Though becoming involved in an accident can increase auto insurance rates, some insurers may lower premiums for motorists who complete a driver's education course.

Feedback or questions? Email the editor here.

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