What is a Roundabout? – There are no traffic signals or stop signs as drivers yield at entry to oncoming traffic in a circular intersection.
Do Roundabouts help traffic flow? – Roundabouts promote a continuous flow of traffic as drivers do not stop and wait for a traffic signal. Drivers yield to oncoming traffic and merge into low speed moving traffic.
Are Roundabouts safer than traditional intersections? – According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Roundabouts reduce overall crashes by 40%, they reduce injury crashes by 70% and the reduction in fatal crashes is a whopping 90%. Roundabouts are a safer alternative to traffic signals and stop signs. The tight circle of a roundabout forces drivers to slow down, and the most severe types of intersection crashes — right-angle, left-turn and head-on collisions — are unlikely. And although I’ve never seen a pedestrian using a Roundabout, they are generally safer for pedestrians too. Pedestrians walk on sidewalks around the perimeter and cross only one direction of traffic at a time. Crossing distances are relatively short, and traffic speeds are lower than at traditional intersections.
Are Roundabouts better for the environment? - Roundabouts improve traffic flow and are better for the environment. Research shows that traffic flow improves following conversion of traditional intersections to Roundabouts. Less idling, in turn, reduces vehicle emissions and fuel consumption.
You don't have to be an Insurance Professional to appreciate the safety aspects of Roundabouts. And we all like improved fuel consumption. Like them or not, Roundabouts are here to stay.