Are Traffic Circles Safer?

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It is the French  as reported in The Economist that in the early 1900’s came out with the carrefour giratoire, the precursor to the modern traffic circle. When installed in Paris, traffic circles require circulating traffic in the traffic circle to give way or priority to car traffic coming from the right.

If you have driven in France in the last ten years, you will have seen a proliferation of traffic circles, with estimates of 30,000 existing and a further 500 annually installed. Why? Because of road safety. The graph below shows the USA with the greatest number of road fatalities and the smallest amount of roundabouts.

chixvffucaac7jmAs the Economist article states, In America, for instance, which has a mere 4,800 roundabouts, a quarter of all road deaths take place at intersections. America’s Federal Highway Administration, which helpfully supplies a “roundabouts outreach and education toolbox” to overcome public distrust…

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