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Are Roundabouts Safer than Traffic-Lighted Intersections?

Roundabouts, the circular intersections where traffic flows in one direction at low speeds, might be significantly safer than traffic-lighted intersections. Converting an intersection that has traffic light into a roundabout has been found to reduce vehicle crashes with injuries or fatalities by 78%. The types of accidents that tend to cause the most injuries and fatalities are right-angle or T-bone crashes, left-turn crashes and head-on crashes. Roundabouts are designed so that all vehicles travel in the same direction, so the risk of these most-common, potentially serious crashes is decreased. A roundabout is a type of traffic circle, but not all traffic circles provide the same safety benefits, because some permit higher speeds.

More about roundabouts:

  • About 50% of the world's roundabouts are in France.

  • One study found that roundabouts might increase the risk of accidents involving bicyclists. About 26% of cyclist-related accidents in the study took place at roundabouts, compared with 6% at intersections that had traffic signals.

  • Converting traffic-lighted intersections to roundabouts might reduce carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 29 percent by improving traffic flow efficiency and decreasing fuel consumption.

Allison Boelcke
By Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke, a digital marketing manager and freelance writer, helps businesses create compelling content to connect with their target markets and drive results. With a degree in English, she combines her writing skills with marketing expertise to craft engaging content that gets noticed and leads to website traffic and conversions. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By Memyself — On May 07, 2014

What is the study suggesting roundabouts are less safe for bicyclists? Do you have a reference cite?

By anon333287 — On May 04, 2013

Maybe it's a good idea as per studies carried out, but there's not pedestrian crossing at any roundabouts I have seen. Provision has to be made for that.

Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke
Allison Boelcke, a digital marketing manager and freelance writer, helps businesses create compelling content to connect with their target markets and drive results. With a degree in English, she combines her writing skills with marketing expertise to craft engaging content that gets noticed and leads to website traffic and conversions. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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