GRANITE FALLS, NC (October 27, 2017)…Every time there is an accident at “Five Points” we all seem to have different opinions and views of what should be done to reduce accidents there. We don’t mean to disagree with anyone but a roundabout is definitely the way to go. And, the NCDOT has plans to construct one there.
Another accident occurred at “Five Points” on Dudley Shoals Road in Granite Falls, North Carolina on Friday, October 27, 2017. Grace Chapel Fire Department responded to the accident and found a vehicle overturned on its side with a person trapped inside. Firefighters had to cut into the roof of the vehicle to extract the occupant(s). Thankfully no one was seriously injured in what was described as a “T-bone” accident.
Roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or signals were previously used for traffic control, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Nationally, they have been found to reduce the number of crashes where people are seriously hurt or killed by up to 82 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Roundabouts require a driver to reduce speed when approaching, entering, and moving within the roundabout. This is contrary to an intersection where many drivers are encouraged by a green or yellow light to accelerate to get across the intersection quickly and to “beat the red light.” Stop signs are no guarantee that a motorist will stop either. We all know how many motorists do this.
Roundabouts make violent and deadly T-bone and head-on collisions unlikely. The collisions that do occur tend to be minor.
Roundabouts are more efficient. You will never have to wait for a traffic light to change.
Discovery Channel show Mythbusters ran an experiment that found roundabouts can improve traffic efficiency by up to 20 percent.
Roundabouts reduce fuel consumption and vehicle pollution because vehicles are not idling at a red light.
The center island of a roundabout provides an opportunity to beautify the location with landscaping. Flowers, trees, or even simple green space can be placed in the center of a roundabout, making the intersection aesthetically pleasing.
The roundabout in Hudson on Mt. Herman Road was strongly opposed before construction by many residents there. Today, most everyone will tell you that it has worked surprisingly well (and, I have actually not heard a single person say that it doesn’t work). Police officers are no longer needed to direct traffic into and out of Hudson Elementary School as well.
People say it’s not the intersection but it really is. The current design is not safe or efficient to navigate. And, show us where they are currently constructing a “Five Point” intersection…nowhere! Why? Because they are not safe and efficient.
People say, “I have been driving through this intersection for 50 years and have never had a problem.” If this was the case for every motorist, you would never hear about accidents at “Five Points” and we wouldn’t even be discussing this.
There are many careless, immature, inexperienced, intoxicated and impatient drivers out there that are an accident waiting to happen. If we could change this, the number of accidents would surely decrease but it is very difficult to change these troubling habits.
There is nothing worse than going to an accident scene where you hear someone screaming from pain and wishing you could have done something to possibly prevent it. And, this is why we are so passionate about this!
We applaud the NCDOT for bringing this intersection up-to-date with a much safer roundabout design. Work is scheduled to begin sometime in 2019. Project Cost: $1,030,000.00.
Right of Ways in a Roundabout are very simple: Traffic on your LEFT has the Right of Way.
Here are just a few photos that we have taken over the past few years…