DAVIDSON – Speed was the primary cause of a two-car wreck Aug. 14 along Griffith Street at the Jetton Street roundabout, Davidson Police Chief Jeanne Miller said.
The roundabout played no role in the severity of the crash, she said.
It began when the driver of a Honda Accord sped through one side of the roundabout, drove onto the sidewalk near Char-Grill, then lost control and hit two road signs. The car then drove over the median and into a black Toyota SUV before flipping over.
The driver of the Honda was going about 45 miles per hour when the two vehicles collided around 2:10 p.m. Both drivers, neither of whom were Davidson residents, were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“It’s a testament to seatbelts and air bags (that neither driver was hurt worse),” Miller said.
“For me, (the roundabouts) work great. The issue is the driver. Drivers need to slow their speed and yield. If you’re braking when you’re in a roundabout, it means you’re driving too fast.”
Miller added town police will increase its patrolling in the area to crack down on speeders. She said adults, as well as students at Davidson Day and Davidson Elementary schools, frequently use crosswalks near the roundabout.
“When school starts back, we’ll be (patrolling) there very heavily,” she said. “(Pedestrian safety) is always a concern.”
Town officials have no plans for building another roundabout, Davidson Planning Manager Ben McCrary said. He added roundabouts have been proven to reduce the number of crashes at intersections.
Davidson has three roundabouts: two near I-77 and one at Davidson-Concord and East Rocky River roads.
Miller said the main advantages in roundabouts as opposed to stoplights are less gas consumption and a shorter drive time.
“You may have to drive slower through one (than a regular highway road), but you don’t have to stop nearly as long,” she said. “If you’re at a stoplight, you’re looking at a 45- to 90-second wait, so there’s really a lot more convenience.”