What is the benefit of building more roundabouts? Aren’t they more dangerous than conventional intersections?

The safety and traffic mobility benefits of modern roundabouts are well established and accepted by the Federal Highway Administrations, most all state transportation agencies and experts across the nation.

When you look at the numbers, in 2017, we had 68 percent fewer personal injury accidents per 1,000 residents than we did in 1996 – despite the fact that we have a much larger residential population and an ever-growing number of daytime drivers from outside of Carmel who commute here for jobs that did not exist in Carmel back in the mid-90s. Here is something to keep in mind. Serious, often fatal injuries happen when speeding cars run a stop sign or try to blow through a yellow light at a busy intersection.

Roundabouts, on the other hand, have virtually eliminated the “T-bone” crashes that kill so many people.

Roundabouts, on the other hand, have virtually eliminated the “T-bone” crashes that kill so many people. Not only are cars forced to slow down as they enter a roundabout at an angle, if they do make a mistake (and statistically speaking, it is going to happen) the collision point is at an angle, which reduces the chance of serious injury.

A few of the things people tend to forget when they start trying to compare numbers. Carmel has annexed large portions of Clay Township since 2008. Had we not added roundabouts in those new areas, our personal injury rate would have continued to increase on roads where the intersections were peppered with 4-way stops.

Another data point some tend to overlook: The number of miles driven per person has increased steadily since the 2008 recession according to the U.S. Federal Highway administration and that too should have increased our injury accident numbers, and yet, we still are maintaining safer roadways.

The bottom line is that Carmel, as proved by actual statistics, is one of the safest cities to drive in the United States. There is a far less chance our elderly, our newer drivers and others will be killed or seriously injured because of the safety benefits of our roundabouts. In addition, the roundabouts save fuel, lower insurance rates and very importantly, save valuable time. Most drivers in Carmel appreciate the fact that we are doing all we can to make their commute and travels in our city as safe as possible.


Authored by Laura Campbell, Sue Finkam, Anthony Green, Bruce Kimball, Kevin Rider and Jeff Worrell