Study: Some Roundabout Designs Slash Injury Crashes Up to 85%
A Indiana city famous for installing hundreds of roundabouts on its roads was able to cut injury-causing traffic crashes by as much as 84 percent at intersections outfitted with the hotly debated design, a new study finds — and researchers think more cities should consider “going round,” too.
In a new analysis, researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety studied the safety impacts of a range of roundabout designs located throughout the self-proclaimed “Roundabout Capital of the World,” the suburban town of Carmel.
Long heralded by traffic safety experts in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe where roundabouts or “rotaries” are popular, some street safety advocates remain skeptical about the circular intersection treatment, possibly because it’s easy to confuse with the traffic circle, which typically allows motorists to travel significantly faster and make more dangerous lane changes. Carmel has been the subject of national attention for its roundabouts — the city of 99,000 has roughly 140 of them (and counting) — but even the finer details of its innovative traffic safety program haven’t been studied much until now, despite evidence that car crash injuries have been cut by 80 percent citywide since the roundabouts were installed.