Roundabouts did not make a significant appearance on roadways in the United States until fairly recently. Now, it seems like they are popping up in some of the least-expected intersections.
City planners suggest that changing intersections to roundabouts is safer. Unfortunately, they seem much more dangerous if you are unfamiliar with roundabout protocol.
Here’s what you should know about roundabouts and their impact on intersection safety.
Anytime that cars meet while traveling in different directions, there is the potential for a collision. While a crash can occur anywhere, the chances that an accident will happen at an intersection are greater than anywhere else on the road.
One of the benefits of the roundabout is the reduced speed of vehicles as they approach each other. Rather than someone running a traffic light at 50 miles per hour, everyone in the intersection is going under 20 miles per hour. When vehicles are going slower, it reduces the likelihood of a fatal crash.
Florida is not the only state adding roundabouts. Several states have been implementing roundabouts and are seeing positive results. For example, a study in Minnesota showed an 86 percent reduction in fatal crashes.
In addition to reducing fatalities, studies also show that roundabout intersections have fewer accidents overall. Since drivers enter the intersection at a slower pace, they have time to watch and react to the other vehicles near them.
While learning to navigate a roundabout can take time, adding these types of intersections to Florida roadways may mean a safer commute for everyone.