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Traffic circles are safe if used properly - Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hamilton Mountain News
Thursday, October 31, 2013
re: Roundabouts not necessarily safer (Oct. 24)

As a driver trainer I am always dismayed when people vigorously oppose traffic circles or roundabouts, and I wonder if these critics ever took the time to learn how to properly use a roundabout?

Roundabouts reduce the chance of a collision due to lower speeds. If there is a collisions then it will be a sideswipe with a lesser impact, which reduces injuries.
I am appalled at this statement: "Myself, I’d rather be hit in the front or rear rather than have my driver side door crash in on me."

This makes me wonder if the writer has ever experienced either a frontal or rear collision at about 50 km/h. The shock and deformation of the vehicle is quite dramatic and will produce injuries despite airbags and seat belts.

A collision in a roundabout is not the same as a T-bone crash at an intersection where extreme intrusion into the passenger compartment occurs. A collision in a roundabout is akin to a baseball player catching a fly ball. The severity of the impact is reduced greatly since both of the vehicles are traveling in the same direction.

Perhaps a strong ongoing campaign would help make people understand that in a roundabout they must yield to the vehicles on the left and not on the right.

Dez Miklòs,
Past president of D.I.G.H.A.,
Driving Instructors’ Golden Horseshoe Association

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