A Safer, Cheaper, and Easier to Navigate Intersection
In This Issue: Why Are So Many Roundabouts Being Built Now?
If you’ve done a good bit of driving around the Atlanta area recently, you’ve probably noticed the trend toward building roundabouts. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with that term, roundabouts are circular intersections where drivers that are entering must yield to the traffic already inside. If you’re wondering why the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is allowing so many of them to be built throughout the state, it’s because roundabouts tend to be safer for both drivers and pedestrians.
According to the GDOT website, at places where roundabouts have replaced traditional intersections, accidents of all types have gone down 35%, while accidents resulting in injuries have gone down 60%. Along with being safer than traditional intersections, roundabouts could also end up being cheaper to construct and maintain in the long run, since they don’t require traffic signals.
Roundabouts might also be safer for pedestrians, since they only have to cross one lane of slow-moving traffic instead of two lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions. Plus, at traditional intersections, pedestrians have to worry about drivers turning left or right onto the road they’re crossing, as well as drivers who flat-out run red lights. Pedestrians in both of those scenarios end up with serious injuries more often than not, but accidents like these are less likely to happen in roundabouts.
If you’re not especially familiar with roundabouts and more of them are popping up around where you live, learning how to navigate them safely is a must. When approaching a roundabout, always slow down, stop for any pedestrians, and yield to any traffic already in the circle. After checking to your left, make sure no traffic is coming before entering the circle. Once inside the roundabout, do not stop — you have the right of way.
Unfamiliar as they might be, roundabouts have the potential to make commuting in our communities safer for everyone. So, we might as well get used to them.