FDOT District One video describing modern roundabouts and how to use them.
In Florida, there are roughly 20 roundabouts on highways and over 300 on local roads. A roundabout is a circular traffic intersection that maintains the flow of traffic without stopping as a traffic light would require. If you’ve ever gone through a roundabout without knowing how to properly use one, you probably have ill feelings towards them. However, roundabouts have many benefits over traditional traffic stops.
Cutting Down on Collisions
Roundabouts drastically improve driver safety. Roundabouts reduce collisions for three main reasons. To travel in a roundabout, drivers must significantly reduce their speed. By reducing speeds to yield before entering and then driving more slowly through the roundabout, drivers reduce their risk of getting into a collision—particularly, a large collision. If a collision were to happen in a roundabout, it would be less likely to cause serious injury than a full-speed collision in an intersection would. Roundabouts also promote one-way travel, which reduces the risk of a collision from oncoming traffic. Lastly, roundabouts are a continuous flow of traffic, which eliminates the pressure of trying to beat traffic lights.
As previously mentioned, roundabouts promote a continuous flow of traffic. Traffic stops can cause congestion and unnecessary build-up in traffic. Roundabouts allow drivers to make their way through the intersection without having to sit at a traffic light, so they can handle the same number of cars as a traffic light would in less time.
Bettering Our Environment
Traffic stops require drivers to idle in place for minutes at a time, which negatively affects our environment and our cars’ fuel efficiency. By reducing the length of time a driver needs to idle in place, roundabouts reduce the emissions that cars give off.
Roundabouts also promote a decrease in spending. Traffic lights can be costly to build and maintain. They require hardware and electrical costs for traffic signals that roundabouts do not need. Electrical maintenance can delay traffic stops for hours on end. Roundabouts do not need electrical maintenance, other than on traffic streetlights. This makes them more economical in terms of long-term maintenance costs.
Improved safety and traffic, as well as reduced vehicle emissions and costs, are just a few of the many benefits of roundabouts. Cities and states can improve the travel experience for drivers by installing roundabout intersections.
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YouTube Channel: Why The U.S. Hates Roundabouts