In a continual effort to provide the safest roadways, the Nevada Department of Transportation installs roundabouts at selected state roadway intersections to improve safety and mobility.
What Are Roundabouts?
Roundabouts are one-way circular intersections in which traffic flows around a center island without stop signs or signals.
Vehicles entering the roundabout yield the right-of-way to traffic already in the roundabout. Because roundabout traffic enters and exits through right turns only and speeds are reduced, the occurrence of severe crashes is substantially less than in many traditional four-way intersections. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that motor vehicle crashes involving injuries have declined by up to approximately 80% in intersections where roundabouts have been installed.
The lower speeds within roundabouts also allow entering traffic to access smaller gaps between circulating vehicles, increasing traffic volume and decreasing delays, congestion, fuel consumption and air pollution.
Modern roundabouts are often much smaller than the rotaries or traffic circles of decades past.
Benefits of Roundabouts
- Safer than signalized intersections
- Reduces frequency and severity of crashes
- Reduces traffic delays / increases traffic capacity
- Can slow excessive traffic speeds while still improving traffic flow
- Reduced long-term operational costs
- More environmentally-friendly than traditional intersections due to less vehicle emissions, fuel use and noise
- More aesthetically-pleasing
How Roundabouts Work
Driving in roundabouts is easy, and follows many of the same principles of other traffic intersections.
Roundabouts do not use stop signs, but often use yield signs to notify drivers to yield to approaching vehicles already in the roundabout.
In many ways, entering a roundabout is much like making a right turn from an intersection. Drivers approaching a roundabout must reduce their speed and yield to approaching vehicles within the roundabout, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. When clear to enter, drivers turn into the roundabout to the right (counterclockwise), driving to the right of the center island while proceeding through the roundabout. Before exiting, drivers use turn signals to indicate where they will exit the roundabout.
See full roundabout driving instructions here.
Point of Interest
The first modern U.S. traffic roundabout was constructed in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1990. Thousands of modern roundabouts can now be found throughout the United States, joining the over 30,000 roundabouts in France and the United Kingdom.