Roundabouts have been touted as a safer alternative to traditional intersections. Initially popular overseas, cities throughout the United States have incorporated the design to reduce the chance of motor vehicle collisions.
Roundabouts, in particular, has made an Indianapolis suburb significantly safer. So much so that Carmel, Indiana, is now known as “Roundabout City,” not to mention having more roundabouts – more than 100 – than any other city.
Carmel’s roundabouts feature a double-teardrop design. Also known as “dogbone” interchanges, they work similarly to the traditional designs. They are particularly tailored to be used in areas where surface roads intersect freeways or high-speed roads.
Are roundabouts safer?
A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that roundabouts in Carmel have had significantly positive effects. The sample encompassed 64 roundabouts, including 21 single-lane, 33 multi-lane, and 10 double-teardrop designs. Twenty-five were converted from intersections with traffic signals, 19 were formerly four-way stop signs, along with three-way (4) and two-way stops (16).
The double teardrops saw the most reduction in crashes, with a decline of 84 percent of injury crashes and all collisions by two-thirds. In total, accidents dropped 63 percent.
Roundabouts had also reduced emissions and traffic flow during a time when the city’s population grew four times from 25,000 to nearly 100,000 over approximately 30 years.
While roundabouts have made a significant difference in reducing crashes nationwide, accidents can still occur while driving through one. Whether the cause was confusion, negligence, or impairment, negligent acts require the help of a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney.