There's a lot of hate for roundabouts.  We've seen it quite a bit on our own Facebook page whenever we link to an article talking about it.  Maybe it's because some people are confused by them, or are just resistant to change.  According the Washington State DOT there are many benefits to the roundabouts.  Here's what they've found.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Federal Highway Administration did a study where they found the following statistics about roundabouts:

  • 37% fewer collisions or accidents
  • 75% fewer injuries when there was an accident
  • 90% fewer fatal injuries
  • 40% fewer pedestrian collisions

With stats like that, how can you even argue against a roundabout?  Just recently someone drove right over the top of the roundabout at the base of the Bong Bridge in Superior while they were drunk.  They went flying into the air and crashed.  He ended up being fine, but people were complaining that if the roundabout wasn't there, it wouldn't have been a problem.   Can you imagine if that was a red light that the guy blew through at 70mph?

That's another point to be made about roundabouts.  There's no more "trying to beat the red light" mentality that leads to so many crashes.  You also need to slow down to 15-20mph to navigate the roundabout, so if there is a crash it's at much lower speeds leading to a less likelihood of injury.

It saves the state money too, as there are no traffic light or signal equipment that needs maintenance over the years.

To sum it up, learn how to use the roundabout and embrace it, because they are going to be a lot more of them coming.

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