Which is safer: a roundabout or a four-way stop? Find out why roundabouts are safer and dramatically decrease injuries in auto accidents.

Roundabout vs. Four-Way Stop: Which Is Safer?

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With the reluctance of Americans to embrace roundabouts, questions have arisen as to whether they are any safer than four-way stops. Roundabouts are used widely in the United Kingdom and Europe, often where we utilize four-way stops. But which are really safer: four-way stops or roundabouts?

Reasons Roundabouts Are Safer Than Four-Way Stops

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), converting intersections with stop signs or traffic signals to roundabouts reduces injury accidents by 72 to 80 percent and all accidents by 35 to 47 percent. Here are reasons that roundabouts are safer than four-way stops:

  • Low travel speeds. Vehicles typically only travel at 15 to 20 miles per hour in a roundabout. While some vehicles are traveling at this speed in a four-way stop, others can roll through or fail to stop at a four-way stop while traveling at a faster speed. Because of the reduced speeds in roundabouts, accidents tend to result in less severe injuries and property damage.
  • One-way travel. Vehicles travel in only one direction in a roundabout. This eliminates some of the most dangerous types of crashes, such as T-bone accidents and head-on collisions.
  • Continuous flow of traffic. While a driver must yield the right of way to vehicles already in the roundabout, once in it, he does not have to stop. This reduces the unsafe practices of rolling through the intersection or running the stop sign, which can cause deadly sideswipe and head-on crashes.

Roundabouts have other benefits that four-way stops and traditional intersections do not have. Some of these include:

  • Roundabouts promote the flow of traffic because traffic moves continuously in the circle. This avoids the delays of waiting for a traffic signal to turn or a driver’s turn at a four-way stop.
  • Roundabouts are cheaper in terms of installation, maintenance, and electricity costs than intersections using traffic signals. In addition, they are not affected by power outages.
  • Roundabouts take less space in the approach to it on the street than intersections with four-way stop signs and stoplights. In combination with the continuous flow of traffic, this can result in a shorter backup of traffic.

Although roundabouts are safer than four-way stops, you can still be injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver. Fill out our online form to schedule a free confidential consultation with our experienced car accident attorneys to discuss your situation and your options for compensation.

Category: Car Accidents


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