Since 2000, 90 new roundabouts have been installed in B.C., but a new survey is highlighting the lack of confidence most drivers have when it comes to navigating these traffic patterns.
In a survey released Wednesday (Feb. 7) by ICBC, it found that 57 per cent of B.C. drivers feel confident in a single-lane roundabout, dipping to only 29 per cent of drivers when it comes to multi-lane roundabouts.
“Road design is critical to keeping everyone on our roads safe,” says Shabnem Afzal, ICBC’s director of road safety. “Roundabouts are proven to be highly effective in reducing crashes. While common in Europe, they’re relatively newer to Canada.”
ICBC says that $5 million has been used to fund roundabouts in B.C. in the past 24 years. According to ICBC, these traffic pattern reduces injury crashes by 75 per cent due to eliminating head-on, right-angle, and left-turn crashes. Pedestrian and cyclist safety is also higher.
The survey findings were informed by 636 eligible respondents, who were asked a series of questions on a seven-point scale. Questions included rating overall confidence, as well as how they feel about approaching, driving through and exiting roundabouts.
Fourteen per cent of drivers said that choosing the correct exit while in a roundabout was difficult, while 34 per cent found it challenging to navigate while a cyclist was present.
Participants were also asked to disclose what caused the most frustration when navigating roundabouts: 37 per cent said that not yielding to the vehicle that has the right of way was at the top of their list, followed by 16 per cent who were irked by drivers who don’t signal upon exiting.
ICBC is reminding drivers that unless road signs state otherwise, the general rules for roundabouts are: If you want to turn left use the left lane; turning right use the right lane; going straight use left or right lane.