Roundabouts are the safest type of at-grade intersection. They create slower speeds, fewer conflict points for pedestrians and motorists, and reduced collision angles compared to stop sign or traffic signal control. A national study of intersections converted to modern roundabouts had the following significant findings:
- A reduction in collisions of all types of 40%.
- A reduction in injury collisions of 75%.
- A reduction in fatal and incapacitating collisions of about 90%.
Since motorists do not always have to stop, delays and queues are usually less compared to STOP sign or traffic signal control especially at high traffic flows.
With reduced delay, roundabouts lessen noise, air pollution and fuel consumption. This is likely to become an increasingly important consideration in the future. Roundabouts also provide opportunities for traffic calming and speed transition, as well as landscaping and gateway treatments.
Roundabouts offer a more bicycle friendly experience than traditional intersections.
Using a Roundabout
Observe all standard road rules, including yielding for pedestrians in crosswalks. Remember, roundabout traffic travels one-way counter-clockwise around the circle.
To safely and efficiently drive a roundabout:
- Slow down when approaching the roundabout.
- Guide signs near the entry to a roundabout show lane designations.
- Yield to traffic in all lanes on your left before entering.
- Stay in your lane to your exit.