Traffic statistics consistently demonstrate that roundabouts are safer than typical four-way intersections. Collisions can be reduced by 50 to 90 percent when a typical intersection is converted to a roundabout. Here’s why:
Vehicles move slowly in one direction so they normally don’t crash head-on or at right angles which can occur at intersections with stop signs or traffic lights. When crashes do occur in a roundabout, they are generally slow-speed side-swipes with fewer, less serious injuries.
“Conflict points,” where a crash could occur, decrease from 32 at a four-way intersection to eight at a roundabout.
The number of potential vehicle/pedestrian conflict points (if pedestrians are allowed) decreases from 24 at a four-way intersection to eight at a roundabout.
Roundabouts are usually safer for pedestrians than typical intersections because pedestrians walk across the roundabout approaches (not across the center island), crossing one direction of traffic at a time. Compared to typical intersections, the crossing distance is fairly short, pedestrians can pause at the splitter island, and vehicle speeds are slower. Not all roundabouts allow pedestrians, however.