Roundabout Information & Navigation Tips
Roundabouts have become more common across the U.S. and particularly here in Butler County.
So, how are they working out? The BCEO has compiled statistics to date and found that its roundabouts have resulted in:
- 60% reduction in overall crashes
- 80% fewer injury crashes
- 100% reduction in serious and fatal crashes
This compares to the national average of 40%, 75%, and 90% respectively; therefore Butler County's roundabouts are even outperforming the national statistics.
There are many reasons why the BCEO Traffic Engineers identify a roundabout to be a good solution to a problematic intersection. While not necessarily the answer to every intersection, a roundabout may be determined to be the least costly and most effective solution at certain locations due to the roundabout's smaller "footprint", which requires less land and right-of-way acquisition. Turn lanes can require more land acquisition and ongoing operation of signals can drive up costs.
Moreover, there are the roundabout's inherent safety features. Stop signs and signals do not guarantee that motorists will stop. Roundabouts act as traffic calming devices which force drivers to slow down. Any accidents that may occur are almost always less severe.
Because roundabouts improve the efficiency of traffic flow, they also reduce vehicle emissions and fuel consumption. During peak traffic hours roundabouts carry about 30% more vehicles than signalized intersections, resulting in less stopping, fewer delays, and better fuel efficiency.
How to properly navigate a roundabout
While most drivers prefer roundabouts once they get used to them, there is a learning curve. The BCEO would like to offer the following tips for navigating roundabouts safely and properly:
Approaching and Entering
- When approaching a roundabout, slow down and be prepared to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
- Pull up to the yield line, look to the left for approaching traffic within the roundabout. Remember, circulating traffic has the right-of-way. Entering traffic must yield the right-of-way to circulating traffic.
- Enter the roundabout when there is an adequate gap in circulating traffic. Proceed to your right. Vehicles travel counterclockwise around a raised center island.
In the roundabout
- Once in the roundabout, drivers proceed counterclockwise to the appropriate exit, following the guidance provided by traffic signs and pavement markings. Once in the roundabout, you now have the right-of-way. You shouldn't have to stop.
- Stay off the slightly raised truck apron unless needed by a larger turning radius vehicle.
- As you approach your exit, use your right turn signal if possible.
- Watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk and be prepared to yield.
- Slowly exit the roundabout.
All information has been provided by the BCEO.