“Dirty Little Secret” That Crashes Increase When Intersections Are Converted to Roundabouts

(p. A3) Converting an intersection with a traffic signal to a roundabout results in a 78% decrease in fatalities and injuries, according to the Federal Highway Administration. The downside has been more crashes, mostly fender-benders, at many two-lane roundabouts.

The crash problem has been a “dirty little secret” in the traffic field, said Letty Schamp, deputy engineer for the city of Hilliard, Ohio. “Now people are talking about it.”

Ms. Schamp considers one roundabout her baby because she has worked on the project since it began more than a decade ago, when the area had few roundabouts. The two-lane circular intersection has had more than 660 crashes since it opened in 2012, averaging 82 a year. That is compared with eight a year at the intersection that existed previously, city figures show.

For the full story, see:

Scott Calvert. “Roundabout Wrecks Have Engineers Going in Circles.” The Wall Street Journal (Monday, March 16, 2020): A3.

(Note: the online version of the story has the date March 14, 2020, and has the title “Car-Crash Mystery: Why Can’t Drivers Figure Out Roundabouts?”)

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