Data regarding the number of vehicle crashes in the rotaries and roundabouts in the Capital Region of New York State has shown that these events are on the rise.
Though these road features had been constructed in order to try to decrease traffic congestion and lower the risk of serious injuries, recently released data has shown that accidents within them are becoming more frequent. This is the case in 15 out of the 20 roundabouts in the region that had been constructed where there had previously been an intersection.
Those roundabouts with two-lanes were even more likely to experience crashes and fender benders. Though the rotaries with a single lane did see some decrease in accidents when they had been built by the state, almost every town- or county-built rotary saw an increase.
Director of traffic and safety, Mark Kennedy, from the Capital Region’s Department of Transportation said that the blame for the rising number of accidents should be placed on aggressive drivers who move through the roundabouts at excessive speeds and refuse to yield the right of way.
He explained that among rotaries with a single lane – that is, those built by the state – accidents can be decreased. However, “With multi-lane roundabouts, some are better, some are worse. There are two that are somewhat problematic.”
That said, it should be noted that the rotaries seem to experience collisions that are less severe than those that occur at traffic light-controlled intersections. This is because there is a significantly smaller opportunity for a head-on or t-bone collision at a rotary than at an intersection. Instead, the most common accidents in rotaries are rear-end crashes and sideswiping.