PennDOT recently reviewed data for 11 roundabouts on state routes at intersections that use to have stop signs or traffic lights. They were reviewed based on having at least three years of data available before and after the roundabout was installed.
Data based on police-submitted crash reports between 2000 and 2017 show:
Fatalities were reduced by 100 percent (from two to zero);
Serious injuries were reduced by 100 percent (from seven to zero);
Minor injuries were reduced by 95 percent (from 19 to one);
Possible/unknown severity injuries were reduced by 92 percent (from 49 to four);
Crashes causing only property damage decreased by 2 percent (from 49 to 48); and
The total number of crashes dropped 47 percent (from 101 to 54).
"I'm not stunned that the numbers are down at all because I've always believed in the safety and the efficiency of a roundabout," Fritzi Schreffler, PennDOT Safety Press Officer, said.
Schreffler said they are safer because they force drivers to pay attention because nobody has the right of way unless they are currently in the roundabout.
"People run red lights, you see it all the time," Schreffler said. "It's very difficult to run a roundabout. It forces traffic to slow down as it's coming to it. It allows traffic to flow smoothly. You don't have complaints about how long somebody had to sit at a signal. Or again people running signals."
In addition to the 11 roundabouts meeting the review criteria, 32 other roundabouts have been installed on state routes and 26 are in design. The roundabouts included in the review were:
The intersection of Route 3070 (Ewing and Resurrection Roads) with Business Loop 376 eastbound on and off-ramps in Moon Township, Allegheny County, installed in 2011;
The intersection of Route 68 (Adams Street), Route 1034 (Brighton Avenue), and Route 18 (Rhode Island Avenue) in Rochester Borough, Beaver County, installed in 2011;
The intersection of Route 2043, Trevose Road and Somerton Road, Bucks County, installed in 2012;
The intersection of Route 0082, Doe Run Road and Unionville Road, Chester County, installed in 2005;
The intersection of Route 0034 (Spring Road) and Route 1007 (Sunnyside Drive) and Mountain Road at Sterretts Gap, Middlesex Township and Carroll Township, Cumberland and Perry counties, installed in 2014;
The intersection of Route 0039 (Linglestown Road) and Route 3019 (Mountain Road), in Linglestown, Dauphin County, installed in 2011;
The intersection of Routes 1023/46 Newton Street Road and St. Davids Road, Delaware County, installed in 2008;
The intersection of Routes 0019/97 and High Street, Erie County, installed in 2014;
The intersection Routes 0029/73, Gravel Pike and Big Road, Montgomery County, installed in 2009;
The intersection of Route 0016 (Main Street), Route 3072 (Hanover Street), and Route 3059 (Roths Church Road), in Spring Grove, York County, installed in 2007; and
The intersection of Route 0074 (Delta Road), Route 0851 (Bryansville Road) and Route 2015 (Broad Street), in Delta, York County, installed in 2008.
Schreffler said there is an adjustment period after installing a roundabout.
"People are used to the way you know traffic has always been so adding a roundabout is something different it makes them a little bit nervous, people hesitate initially going into it who has the right away? You know, which road?" Schreffler said. "Nobody can run a red light. Nobody can run a four-way stop at these things. Are there things that will still happen? Yes, unfortunately we have distracted drivers and we have impaired drivers. But you have to slow down as you're coming to one of these."