Traffic circles may become widespread

November 17, 2005

Modern roundabouts, or traffic circles, not only reduce crashes, but research shows they also can help alleviate traffic backups and resulting delays.

Researchers say roundabouts improve traffic flow and reduce injury crashes by as much as 75 percent, compared with intersections controlled by stop lights or signs.

Although tens of thousands of traffic circles have been built worldwide, only about 1,000 exist in the United States.

"Transportation engineers, like everybody else, generally go with what they're used to," said Richard Retting of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "Doing this means missing the benefits of roundabouts."

Institute researchers compared such factors as traffic volume, the number of accidents, and traffic delays at traditional intersections, with those occurring at the more modern traffic circles.

A key finding is that vehicle delays would be reduced by up to 74 percent, saving 325,000 hours of motorists' time annually. The scientists estimated crashes could be reduced by 75 percent.

"If only 10 percent of the 250,000 intersections with signals in the United States were modified as roundabouts, the national safety and fuel saving benefits would be enormous," Retting said.

The research appears in the institute's journal, Status Report.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Tech startups want to change the way you drive

Related Stories

Tech startups want to change the way you drive

August 25, 2015

A veteran computer scientist hates sitting in his car at stop lights, so he creates software that makes the experience less annoying. A former engineering professor wants to double the range of today's electric vehicles. ...

Jaywalking not worth the risk, expert says

December 16, 2013

The hectic holidays may have many looking to save a few extra minutes wherever they can be found, but a University of Alabama at Birmingham expert says one seemingly small action—jaywalking—should be avoided at all times.

Report: economic growth failing to help world's poorest kids

June 23, 2015

Global resolve to rescue impoverished children from lives of squalor, disease and hunger has fallen short, with economic development in many countries still leaving millions of the most vulnerable behind, according to a UNICEF ...

App improves the safety of blind pedestrians in cities

January 22, 2015

Siemens is developing a system that helps blind and visually impaired people walk safely through cities. In cooperation with the Technical University of Braunschweig and several partners, Siemens is working on a comprehensive ...

Recommended for you

Most EU nations seek to bar GM crops

October 4, 2015

Nineteen of the 28 EU member states have applied to keep genetically modified crops out of all or part of their territory, the bloc's executive arm said Sunday, the deadline for opting out of new European legislation on GM ...

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Fusion reactors 'economically viable' say experts

October 2, 2015

Fusion reactors could become an economically viable means of generating electricity within a few decades, and policy makers should start planning to build them as a replacement for conventional nuclear power stations, according ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.