The city of Carmel, Indiana is receiving a lot of attention for a road design feature that seems to be in abundance there. The city has more roundabouts than any other city in the country. With the addition of roundabouts has come the elimination of many traffic lights.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety credits these high numbers of roundabouts in Carmel for a reduced injury and accident rate. In 2003, there were 252 traffic accidents on 220 miles of road in Carmel. By 2008, the road miles had increased to 395, but the traffic accident rates actually decreased to 223. Between 2003 and 2008, more than two dozen roundabouts were constructed in Carmel. By the end of this year, the number of roundabouts is expected to touch 55. The number of traffic lights there is just 41.
Roundabouts at intersections are popular not just because of the safety value they offer, but also the mitigation of congestion they facilitate. Traffic flows easier at roundabouts, because it moves in a single direction. Another safety advantage is that they force motorists to slow down while negotiating curves. With roundabouts, the possibility of some of the most dangerous accidents like head-on collisions, is minimized. They also reduce the possibility of a rear end crash, which is common with traffic lights. With a traffic light, there is always the risk that motorists in a hurry will race to beat the red light. That doesn’t happen when you are negotiating a roundabout.
Roundabouts can also add to the aesthetics of a location. A beautiful roundabout intersection doesn’t just make the area safer, but also adds to property value.
Roundabouts have become more popular in the US in recent years, but no city has taken to these as successfully as Carmel has. Carmel’s example is an illustration of how a holistic and targeted road design plan can reduce the risk of accidents and keep motorists safe.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Miller Muller Mendelson and Kennedy represent injured victims of car/truck/motorcycle accidents across Indiana.