General information, research, and studies on Roundabout’s safety
- Very popular in The Villages and a hot topic among residents, issues arise more during busier seasons (snowbirds are usually mentioned here) and due to more congestion due to construction and road maintenance.
- Most accidents are caused in head on collisions, left turn, and right turn scenarios. As a result, roundabouts are designed to avoid these scenarios and thus are safer.
- “Studies of intersections in the United States converted from traffic signals or stop signs to roundabouts have found reductions in injury crashes of 72-80 percent and reductions in all crashes of 35-47 percent. “
- Areas where speed limits were 40 mph and higher and which had stop sign intersection converted to roundabouts saw 62 percent reduction in crashes and an 85 percent reduction in all injury crashes.
- Although roundabouts are significantly safer, accidents do occur. The four types of accidents that occur are run-off-road, rear-end, sideswipe, and entering-circulating.
- “A large majority of crashes at the single-lane roundabouts were entering-circulating crashes. At multi-lane roundabouts, the majority of crashes were exiting-circulating.”
- Center landscaping such as flowers obstruct driver’s vision which in turn helps drivers naturally slow down to focus.
- Older drivers are more wary of roundabouts, even though these may benefit them as older drivers are more likely to be involved in intersection crashes. In 2016, 40 percent of fatal crashes involved people 70 years and older.
Roundabout comments from TalkofTheVillages.com users:
L2ridehd: “A roundabout is nothing but a traffic light replacement. Treat it that way. If turning right enter on the right. If turning left enter on the left. If going straight through use either lane. So simple. If you were coming south on Morse and hit the light at 466 in The Villages Florida, would you stay in the right lane to make a left hand turn? That is what your doing if you go 3/4 the way around a circle in the right hand lane. Would you enter the traffic light intersection on a red light? Would you enter if another car was in the intersection? That is what your doing if you don’t yield to both lanes for cars already in the circle. It’s a traffic light replacement, treat it that way and everything works.”
Kappy: “Never change lanes between the 2nd and 3rd exits. The broken white line dividing the inner and outer lanes does not mean you may change lanes while inside the roundabout. The broken white line is there so that vehicles entering the roundabout can enter in either lane, depending on where they are going.
A vehicle entering a roundabout that is going 3/4 around, must be able to enter in the left hand lane, thereby crossing the broken white line. This is the same as if they were at a traffic light and were going to make a left hand turn onto a 4 lane road. Once you enter the road in the left lane, you can change lanes to the right lane. Approximately 30-40% of all drivers make this error by directly entering the right lane. (This information comes from “Professional Driving With Richard” that used to be printed in The Villages Homeowners Association monthly newsletters).”
Dbussone: “Just before entering a rotary you will note a road sign. It notes each lane and the rotary exits allowed from the respective lane.”
In addition, rule # 1 is: a car already in the rotary has right of way over a car that is about to enter.
Directions on how to safely navigate roundabouts in The Villages Florida:
- Approach the roundabout slowly, check for pedestrians or cyclists in crosswalks, and YIELD to all traffic in the roundabout.
- Pay attention to the signs. Follow guide signs to approach your desired street.
- In approaching a two-lane roundabout know these rules:
- If you’re planning on going more than halfway around the circle, enter through the LEFT-HAND lane.
- If you’re planning on going less than halfway around the circle, enter through the RIGHT-HAND lane.
- If you plan to continue straight through the circle, choose EITHER lane unless there are signs or markings indicating otherwise.
- Things to remember when navigating:
- When waiting to enter a roundabout, wait for a gap. DO NOT ENTER NEXT TO A VEHICLE in a roundabout, as that vehicle may be exiting at the next circle.
- Once in the roundabout, DO NOT CHANGE LANES!
- Do not overtake other vehicles or cyclists within the roundabout.
- YIELD to emergency vehicles before or after the traffic circle. DO NOT STOP IN THE TRAFFIC CIRCLE.
- Give oversized vehicles extra room, as they may require taking both lanes to navigate the roundabout.
- Indicate when you are exiting by using your turn signal.
Instructional video on navigating roundabouts from the Florida Department of Transportation