Public opinion of roundabouts

Do you feel anxious at the thought of driving a roundabout? If so, you’re not alone. While most drivers get that ‘deer in the headlights’ look initially, studies show after drivers use roundabouts, they like them.

After driving roundabouts, the number of people who favor them more than doubles.  A survey on drivers’ views of roundabouts before and after construction conducted by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety illustrates public opinion. Before construction, the number of drivers who were in favor of roundabouts was only 31 percent, and those strongly opposed was 41 percent.

Public opinion raises to 63 percent after driving roundabouts.
Public opinion after driving roundabouts: most favor them and only
15% are strongly opposed.

The reasons most cited for concern were fear of the unknown:  People initially prefer traffic signals and stop signs until they realize roundabouts allow them through the intersection safely without having to stop.  Other concerns about safety and possibly being confused about where to go also dissipate with use. 

In follow-up surveys, done after the roundabout was installed and drivers had a chance to use them, those who favored roundabouts increased to 63 percent and those strongly opposed dropped to 15 percent.