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Are Roundabouts More Dangerous?

Hamilton County has become a roundabout epicenter of not only the country but also the world. The intersection design first popular in Europe is gaining popularity in central Indiana. The City of Carmel claims the most roundabouts in the country with 116, and it's working to put in more.

A recent study found roundabouts may cut down on fatal accidents, but increase other, less serious crashes. We've found that many of the most dangerous intersections in Central Indiana contain the circular traffic flow.

Data from the Indiana State Police and LexisNexis Risk Solutions is collected whenever a police officer files a report at or within 50 feet of the intersection. The numbers reflect the total number of accidents from 2016 and 2017, combined.

Olio Road and Southeastern Parkway in Fishers had the most wrecks with 133.

Second, third and fourth on the list are all in Carmel: (in order)

  • 116th Street and Keystone Parkway (122 accidents)

  • 116th Street and Pennsylvania Street (107 accidents)

  • 116th Street and Illinois Street (106 accidents)

The Carmel Police Department attributes the high number of accidents at these intersections to the high volume of traffic going through them. They shared traffic statistics at those intersections for 2018:

  • 116th Street and Keystone Parkway: averaged 31,500 cars

  • 116th Street and Pennsylvania Street: averaged 9,000 cars

  • 116th Street and Illinois Street: averaged 10,750 cars

"If you take that in comparison to the accidents in the area, sure you're going to have a few more accidents than you normally would if you got that many people traveling through a roundabout," said Lt. Joe Bickel, with the Carmel Police Department.

The top four intersections with the most wrecks, according to the data, are roundabouts. However, the vast majority of those wrecks resulted in just property damage and there were no fatalities at those intersections in 2016 or 2017, according to Fishers and Carmel Police.

"It [a roundabout] requires you to slow down, it requires you to pay more attention and I think it's more safe because it reduces the possibility of a serious crash," said Sgt. Tom Weger, with the Fishers Police Department.

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