Roundabouts Are Safer Than You May Realize
Believe it or not, the painted signage on the roadway was technically correct, but logically very confusing. Especially to people who may not be used to maneuvering their way through a two-lane roundabout.
Below is a video produced by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for Roundabouts in El Paso but the same information will work in our situation as well. It's only about three minutes long and quite instructive.
Here are a couple of statistics about roundabouts that are pretty comforting:
- 37 percent reduction in vehicle accidents in places where a roundabout replaced traffic lights.
- 90 percent reduction in fatality accidents.
Some of the reasons for this are slower overall speeds moving through the intersection, and no traffic light to beat. Plus, since all traffic is moving in the same direction, head-on and T-bone accidents are virtually eliminated.
Bottom line: Don't be scared. It's not like we haven't been negotiating roundabouts for years already. Remember the downtown Post Office? That's a two lane roundabout with a huge building in the middle of it. Or the one in Wake Village? It's not that big of a deal. The thing that made it confusing was the odd paint on the street pointing you to go the wrong way. Thank goodness they are already correcting that problem.