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Roundabouts: Friend or Foe?

Krystal Paisley

July 15, 2014

You may have noticed—and possibly grimaced—that more and more roundabouts are popping up across the nation. With at least 2,300 known roundabouts currently in the United States, replacing signals with these circular intersections is a growing trend. Carmel, Indiana has over 80 roundabouts alone! But, are roundabouts really better?

Why Roundabouts?

First, let’s take a look at the statistics. A study by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that compared to signals, roundabouts provide:

  • 90% reduction in fatal accidents
  • 75% reduction in injury accidents
  • 30-40% reduction in pedestrian accidents
  • 10% reduction in bicycle accidents


It’s pretty clear – roundabouts are a safer alternative. There are also benefits to the area community, including fuel pollution reduction due to lack of idling and decreased costs due to lack of signal maintenance.

Don't Forget the Drivers!

Yes, roundabouts are safer, offer community benefits, and are prevalent across the pond. But the question still remains…when it comes to signals or roundabouts, which one is best for drivers? MythBusters decided to tackle this driving debate. Watch Adam and Jamie put a four-way stop vs. a roundabout to the test in their segment Crossroads Conundrum. Take a look…the results may just surprise you! Still reluctant? Learn more about driving in a roundabout with this video:



Good or bad, what do you think of replacing signals with roundabouts? Let us know in the comments below.