TRAFFIC SAFETY: Roundabouts are safer, research finds...but Americans still don’t like them

March 17, 2016

Roundabouts are proven to be the safer option when it comes to intersections, but the U.S. is reluctant to adopt more of them 

Every 1,118th intersection in the U.S. is a roundabout, compared to France where at every 45th intersection motorists can expect to encounter the curved intersection. Research by the American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that roundabouts reduce injury by 75%.

The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) identified several safety benefits including that roundabouts eliminate the possibility of deadly head-on collisions.

WSDOT also found that roundabouts force drivers to reduce their speeds as they approach the intersection and "because traffic is constantly flowing through the intersection, drivers don't have the incentive to speed up to try and 'beat the light,' like they might at a traditional intersection," WSDOT states on its website.

Despite safety benefits, Americans are very resistant to roundabouts, which is part of the reason they only account for roughly 3,7000 of the total number of intersections in the U.S.