The state of Maryland is installing roundabouts because they offer a good solution to safety and capacity problems at intersections. At intersections where roundabouts have been installed accidents of all types have been reduced by over 60 percent, and injury accidents have reduced by over 75 percent. Roundabouts can also offer high capacity at intersections without requiring the expense of constructing and maintaining a traffic signal.
80 roundabouts have already been installed in Maryland on state roads and a plan to add about 15 more is in the planning stages, according to David Buck, a spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration.
Here are some Facts about Roundabouts:
1) Slow speed, circular intersection.
2) No stop signs or signals within the circle.
3) Safer than other types of intersections with fewer points where vehicles could collide with each other, pedestrians or bicyclists.
4) Crashes are less severe as vehicles have already slowed down to enter and navigate the roundabout.
5) In a crash, vehicles tend to sideswipe each other, rather than collide in a T-bone manner.
Roundabouts are safer, quieter, more environmentally friendly and can be cheaper than building intersections with signs and signals. In a study conducted in 2007 by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program of the National Academies, converting a traditional intersection to a roundabout led to a 35 percent drop in crashes and a 76 percent drop in fatal or serious injury crashes. It is this fact that makes roundabouts appealing, so appealing that other states, such as Delaware, Georgia and Indiana are adding more to their traffic systems.