Roundabouts have made intersections a lot safer in Minnesota

Fatal crashes have dropped by more than 80 percent.
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Whether you love them or you hate them, roundabouts have made intersections a lot safer in Minnesota. 

That's according to a new Minnesota Department of Transportation report released Monday.

The report found that fatal crashes have dropped by 86 percent at intersections where roundabouts were installed, and the serious injury crash rate has dropped by 83 percent, a news release says

Related: – Don't drive like an idiot: This is how multi-lane roundabouts work

MnDOT looked at 144 of the state's nearly 200 roundabouts, comparing crash data from before and after the roundabout was constructed. (Note: MnDOT did not study roundabouts with low traffic volumes or those that serve residential areas or small business parks.) 

Between 2006-2015, there was only one fatal crash and five serious injury crashes at roundabouts in Minnesota, the report shows. And in four of those crashes, driver impairment was reported. 

The report also shows there hasn't been a multi-vehicle fatal crash in a roundabout in Minnesota since the first one was built in Brooklyn Park in 1995. 

Here's a look at fatal and serious injury crash rates by intersection type (details on intersection types is listed under the table below):

Here's what each traffic control device means: 

  • Urban Thru-Stop: A "minor road" controlled by a stop sign or flashers, typically in a city or suburb. 
  • Rural Thru-Stop: The same as the Urban Thru-Stop, except it's in a rural area. 
  • Signal – Low Volume/Low Speed: A stop light at an intersection with speeds 45 mph or lower that sees no more than 15,000 vehicles per day.
  • Signal – High Volume/Low Speed: A stop light at an intersection with speeds 45 mph or lower that sees more than 15,000 vehicles per day.
  • Signal – High Volume/High Speed: A stop light at an intersection where speeds are faster than 45 mph and it sees more than 15,000 vehicles per day. 
  • All-Way Stop: Ever road at the intersection is controlled by a stop sign or light. 
  • Single Lane Roundabout: It only has one lane circling the roundabout. 
  • Unbalanced Roundabout: Part of the roundabout has two lanes circling, while other legs only have one circulating lanes. 
  • Dual Lane Roundabout: Two lanes circle the entire roundabout. 

To read the full MnDOT report, click here. And for more information on roundabouts, check out MnDOT's website here

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