Roundabouts seem to be increasing in popularity, but there is a lot of disagreement about whether they are safer than a crossroads. When it comes to the safety of people in other cars and pedestrians, do roundabout make the roads a safer place?
It is no secret how dangerous a crossroad can be. All it takes is one person speeding through a stop to change the lives of entire families forever. While intersections have their dangers, is it worth the effort to construct a roundabout to replace it?
How roundabouts differ from crossroads
There are several areas that a roundabout offers a difference compared to crossroads.
- Uniform traveling: everyone passing through a roundabout is going the same way. When no one is driving at perpendicular angles, it reduces the opportunity to collide with another vehicle at the exchange.
- Slower driving: yield signs are at the entrances to a roundabout. These signs, paired with the intersection curve, mean that a driver needs to slow down to get through to the other side.
- No lights: some drivers see a yellow light at a crossroads as a challenge to beat the sign before it turns red. This behavior is a leading cause of why people speed through a stoplight.
In addition to these safer differences, they are also cheaper. The maintenance and electrical costs of a stoplight can be as high as $10,000 a year.
But are they safer?
The differences a roundabout offers results in a considerable reduction in collisions at intersections. Studies have reported changes including:
- 40% fewer pedestrian collisions
- 90% fewer fatality collisions
- 75% fewer injury collisions
- 37% less total collisions
These improvements mean a safer community and peace of mind of the people near these new intersections.
The differences are clear
When it comes to choosing the safer intersection between crossroads and roundabouts, the decision is easy. Roundabouts result in fewer injuries, fatalities, and collisions.