Roundabouts: Are you Using them Right?
In Florida we run into roundabouts every once in a while, but they aren’t hugely common. However, in many other states they are used quite frequently. In Seattle recently, I encountered many roundabouts while driving. The purpose of a roundabout is to efficiently and safely move more cars through an intersection.
Roundabouts are originally a European traffic-control measure, and has a good reputation for cutting down on crashes. One statistic noted that when traditional signal intersections are converted to roundabouts, injury accidents can be reduced by 80% and collisions overall by 50%.
When entering a roundabout, drivers need to remember to slow down and yield to any cars, pedestrians and cyclists that are already in the roundabout. After you enter you simply proceed at a consistent speed and exit when you are at your street.
In a multi-lane roundabout, stick to the outside lane if you are turning right out of the roundabout. Turning left or making a u-turn means you should stay in the inside line.
When inside a roundabout, speed is significantly reduced, everyone is moving in the same circular direction, meaning that the accident risk is far less than a normal intersection. Low speed side-swipes and and rear-end accidents are the only things to worry about.
Roundabouts are slowly making there way on to more U.S. roads and with more than 70% favoring them after a year of using them, hopefully the construction of these types of intersections continue to increase. With over a quarter of car accidents occurring in intersections, adding a roundabout to these areas could be one of the keys to saving lives and preventing injuries.
What are your opinions on roundabouts? Let us know if you want to see more in the Tampa Bay Area. Currently Tampa only has 27 roundabouts. More are proposed.