Jim Brainard, mayor of Carmel, Indiana since 1996, has made roundabouts the city’s most characteristic feature, arguing that they save lives and money.
Roundabouts force people to slow down. “A stoplight encourages drivers to speed up to beat the yellow light,” Brainard said. “In a roundabout, everyone has to slow down to 15 to 25 miles an hour. The human error rate is never going to change very much. So, the question is, when you make an error, what type of accident is it going to be—high-speed or low-speed?”
It turns out that roundabouts in Carmel reduce overall accident rates, not just fatalities. “We’ve also reduced accidents with injuries requiring visits to the hospital by 75-80%, compared to national averages,” Brainard said.
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