- Safety: lower speeds and fewer points of conflict between vehicles reduces the potential for serious crashes and injury
- Lower speeds: unlike at a green light at an intersection, vehicles need to slow down to use a roundabout, reducing the likelihood of a serious crash
- Higher capacity: a high volume of vehicles turning left is handled better by a roundabout than by a left turn signal at a traditional intersection
- Fewer stops and shorter delays: yielding at the entry of a roundabout takes less time than waiting for a green light at an intersection or for a gap in traffic at a stop sign
- Less idling and air pollution: fewer delays reduces fuel consumption and improves air quality by reducing emissions
- Lower maintenance costs: roundabouts eliminate maintenance and electricity costs associated with traffic signals
- Aesthetically pleasing: there is an opportunity for landscaping within the central island of a roundabout
Adapting to roundabouts
Roundabouts are commonplace across Europe, and they are becoming more and more common in Ontario, including in areas such as Waterloo, Hamilton, London. Many roundabouts have been constructed in the Collingwood area by the MTO.
Other municipalities have demonstrated substantial improvements as a result of the introduction of roundabouts. The Region of Waterloo now has 36 roundabouts on regional roads and constructed its first roundabout in 2004. According to their Safe Roads website, where roundabouts have replaced traffic signals, the Region of Waterloo has experienced a 51% decrease in collisions with injuries and fatalities.
Using a roundabout
When driving in a roundabout, keep to the right of the centre island and drive in a counterclockwise direction until you reach your exit. Don't stop inside the roundabout, except to avoid a collision. To exit the roundabout, use your right-turn signal, and if you miss your exit, continue around the roundabout again and then exit. Details on using a roundabout are available on the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website