SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The phrase “driving in circles” can actually be a good thing– if it means motorists get to their destinations quickly and safely.
Traditional intersections pose 32 conflict points, while roundabouts create only eight. Roundabouts also prevent the most dangerous type of crash– those that occurs at a right angle.
“Those are the types of crashes that we typically see that cause fatalities or debilitating injuries, so [roundabouts] basically eliminate those,” said Eric Claussen, traffic engineer for the City of Springfield.
However, roundabouts are not immune to accidents, as the intersections can create a setting for sideswipes to occur at a slower speed than a regular junction. So, how exactly should one enter a roundabout?
“You should approach a roundabout at a reduced speed, you should look for pedestrians, you should look for bicyclists, look to your left to see if anyone is approaching,” explained Claussen. “If there is a safe gap, proceed into the roundabout at slow motion and then signal as you exit.”
Other roundabout driving tips include
- Circling through the intersection once more if a driver misses their exit
- Pedestrians should take advantage of the platforms between lanes to make sure the intersection is clear before crossing
- Bicyclists should ride in the center of the lane to ensure motorists have a clear visual
To suggest ideas for the next Traffic Tuesday, leave a comment on the Hannah Zettl – KOLR10 News Facebook page.