Traffic circles may become widespread

Nov 17, 2005
Roundabout

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: Ancient clay seals may shed light on biblical era

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Jaywalking not worth the risk, expert says

Dec 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 ...

Predicting and preventing costly breakdowns in machines

Aug 06, 2014

Everything's green in Duisburg. Well, almost. That's because many green dots and only one red one can be seen on a huge display that shows the city's street network. Every dot represents a traffic light. ...

Improved pavement markings can save lives

Mar 20, 2014

As spring finally emerges after a ferocious winter,, our battered roads will soon be re-exposed. While potholes and cracks might make news, a bigger concern should be the deterioration to pavement markings, ...

'Super circles' to lessen rush-hour headaches

Mar 13, 2014

While Mother Nature continues to challenge drivers across the country, a team of traffic engineers is working hard on a new way to make rush-hour commutes safer and faster in any weather.

Recommended for you

Ancient clay seals may shed light on biblical era

13 hours ago

Impressions from ancient clay seals found at a small site in Israel east of Gaza are signs of government in an area thought to be entirely rural during the 10th century B.C., says Mississippi State University archaeologist ...

Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

Dec 19, 2014

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films - however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

User comments : 0

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.