The modern roundabout was created in the 1960s by developers in the United Kingdom. Over the decades, the circular option to intersections has gained momentum worldwide, eventually showing up in the United States, with Nevada having the designation of the first roundabout. Use of what is considered a safer choice continues to grow.
States such as New York and Virginia have gone so far as to implement “roundabout first” policies that prioritize circular construction rather than building new intersections.
Safer than intersections
Today’s roundabouts are considered safer than traffic signals and stop signs. Drivers have little choice but to slow down when entering the circle and maintain that speed as they turn. By driving slower and in the same direction as other vehicles, drivers reduce the chances of various types of collisions.
Experts claim that roundabouts are better for the environment and reduces traffic flow. Research reveals that traffic flow is better on roundabouts than intersections while minimizing idling that puts emissions into the air and impacts fuel consumption.
The safety benefits are numerous due to the much lower speeds in roundabouts than drivers approaching intersections. Various studies have revealed that roundabouts have reduced accidents resulting in injuries by up to 80 percent, with all categories of crashes dropping by 35 to 47 percent.
Roundabouts do have their share of accidents. The most common collisions involved entering-circulating, existing-circulating, and rear-end collisions. Others are caused by cars being run off the road, sideswiped, and colliding with the center circle.
Roundabouts are not just here to say. They may soon make intersections outdated.