SCDOT data shows roundabouts are making South Carolina roads safer

SCDOT data shows roundabouts are making South Carolina roads safer

LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Jeff Ingold and his family has lived near the intersection of Laurel Road and Two Notch Road in Lexington County for more than 20 years.

Cars drive by his home a little slower than they used to."It's a yield to traffic as they're merging and merging out. People tend to stop too much," Ingold said.

A few years ago, people really weren't stopping at all.

"Car crashes, motorcycle crashes, 18-wheelers being tipped over. We've had our share of accidents," Ingold said describing what the intersection was like before the roundabout.

Ingold said there were times he would rush out to help people in those crashes.

He said he felt like there was a serious crash at that intersection once a week.

So when the state decided to build a roundabout at the intersection in late 2012. He wasn't upset about losing a little bit of his front yard.

Ingold said, “Accidents have dropped dramatically. To the point where there pretty much aren’t accidents at all.”

Those safety improvements aren't unique to this roundabout.

According to data collected by SCDOT, at 12-single-lane roundabouts in use since 2011: total crashes were reduced 66%, injury crashes by 79% and fatal crashes by 100%.

SCDOT Director of Traffic Engineering Robert Perry said, “The good thing about roundabouts as well is that it’s free-flowing movement, you don’t have to stop to wait for a signal to change and when you do enter a roundabout you’re going into a much slower speed so if you get in to a crash the severity of it is much lower.”

SCDOT said they are exploring various options when it comes to improving dangerous intersections across the state. Roundabouts are one of those options but it doesn’t work for every intersection since they have to account for traffic flow.

Ingold said he hopes to see more across the state.

You can find a list of those roundabouts here.

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