Driving Modern Roundabouts
Research shows that drivers quickly adapt to the roundabout traffic flow. Proper use of signing and road striping at roundabouts assists motorists and minimizes the potential for confusion.
Community gateways and main streets are effective locations for roundabouts as they slow traffic and provide space for an aesthetically pleasing entrance treatment. In addition to the beauty they can provide if landscaped well, roundabouts slow traffic and help pedestrians cross the street.
Roundabouts limit vehicle speeds to approximately 20 miles per hour (mph) and can control vehicle flows on 4 streets simultaneously. Compared to traffic signals, roundabouts typically reduce crashes by 40 - 60%, reduce injury by 35 - 80%, and almost completely eliminate incapacitating injury and fatal crashes.
There are 2 basic premises in which roundabouts achieve this. The 1st is the simple decision making and the 2nd is the low level of conflicts. At a 4-way intersection there are 32 possible conflict points between vehicles and only 8 at roundabouts. Pedestrians face 6 conflict points when crossing only 1 leg of the road at a 4-way intersection; at a roundabout, they only have 2.