Roundabouts are tools used by the traffic department to regulate traffic as well as slow down fast-moving vehicles. Roundabouts are very handy in busy areas where there is a lot of traffic. They help drivers of vehicles coming from congested areas to be to also go through.
Their function is really shown during peak hours where for example vehicles are exiting and entering a business district. Without roundabouts, the cars mostly affected would be the few going against the flow of traffic. Roundabouts help to even things out and to allow all drivers an equal opportunity to pass.
How roundabouts operate
Drivers of vehicles are supposed to slow down as they approach the roundabout and then yield to vehicles already in the circle. This will allow a steady flow of traffic and ensure no accidents occur. The next step will be to enter the roundabout when there is a gap in traffic. Once in, the driver is supposed to turn their blinkers/indicators on and signal which direction they are going to avoid confusion.
In 2018, it was reported that there were 36 roundabouts in Alaska. This is a huge increase from zero roundabouts in 2000. This number increased greatly due to the benefits that the Alaskan traffic department reported. The traffic department stated that a classic 4-way intersection is more prone to collisions than a 4-way roundabout.
There are at least 32 points of collision on the normal 4-way intersection as opposed to the 8 points of collision that a roundabout has. Roundabouts are reported to be safer for pedestrians as opposed to normal intersections. This is because drivers at a roundabout usually travel at slower speeds and so they have enough time to notice pedestrians passing and react accordingly.
The simplicity of roundabouts becomes clearer with consistent use, clearing fears that novice drivers usually have.