This Test Proves Roundabouts Are Better Than Four-Way Stops

What's more efficient at getting cars safely through an intersection: the typical American four-way stop or the typical British roundabout? Mythbusters decided to find out.

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The results of their test were impressive. In two 15 minute intervals, the four-way stop managed to move an average of 385 cars through the intersection. In the same amount of time, the roundabout moved 460 cars.

On top of pure numbers, the roundabout felt more orderly and efficient, at least when the drivers got test time to get used to the foreign system.

The conditions were pretty much ideal, with no road rage, no text messaging, no hills, no vision-obscuring trees, or whatever else that complicates intersections in the real world.

Still, the result is impressive. Roundabouts aren't the right choice for every intersection (click on this link right here and scroll down to get your brain twisted by Swindon's infamous Magic Roundabout to see what I mean), but I'd be happy to see more on my regular drives.

DISCUSSION

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red014

This only works if people know how to use them. We have plenty of ROTARIES up here in Massachusetts but I'll be damned if I can remember the last time I used one without asking "What the fuck does this guy think he's doing??"