Though research shows that injury crash rates drop after a roundabout replaces a traditional intersection, proposals for roundabouts often meet stiff public resistance. That’s primarily because some drivers find roundabouts unfamiliar and confusing – particularly the ones with more than one lane.
Last year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a study examining the impact of a pair of two-lane roundabouts near Bellingham, Wash. Data showed that injury crashes declined dramatically and traffic flow improved at the sites after the roundabouts were built. However, the rates of crashes with only property damage increased. Surveys of local residents indicated the latter trend was due to driver confusion.
“Roundabouts have many safety advantages over traffic lights and stop signs, and these projects in Washington resulted in real improvements,” Anne McCartt, IIHS senior vice president for research, explained when the research came out. “At the same time, driver confusion is a potential pitfall. Two-lane roundabouts are inherently more complicated than single-lane roundabouts, so extra care is needed to ensure that the rules for navigating the roundabout are communicated.”
So here is a video, produced for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, explaining how to navigate a multi-lane roundabout. You may want to pass this along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder – or just in case any drivers have never driven through one and aren't 100-percent sure what to do.
To view the video, you can click on the photo or link above.
For more advice, click here.