My first experience with a roundabout was in the United Kingdom. Just off the M4 heading to Reading, England to be exact. I expected a four way intersection, but was met with a roundabout with several exits.

Needless to say, I was a bit stressed, especially since I had just landed in a country that I'd never been before, was driving a standard shift car, sitting on the right side of the vehicle, shifting with my left hand and remembering to drive on the left side of the road. Encountering a roundabout for the first time wasn't helping my situation.

Reading England UK Roundabout
Google Maps Street View - Reading England Roundabout

But I eventually got the hang of it all, and yes I'd do it again. I kind of liked the challenge. Anyway, roundabouts are becoming the thing of the present and future with roundabouts springing up everywhere, whether you like it or not.

The Binghamton area now has four. The opinion on roundabouts in the Southern Tier are divided for and against roundabouts. I can understand that, but if used properly, traffic flow can be much smoother. I stress the phrase "used properly."

But here's some food for thought. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recently released a study of  fatalities, injuries, and crashes data on roundabouts in the Keystone State.

aerial view of roundabout in wroclaw city

The data shows that fatalities, injuries, and crashes data gathered decreased overall after intersections at 39 locations were replaced with 42 roundabouts throughout Pennsylvania.

PennDOT is continuing its work to identify and implement innovations and best practices across Pennsylvania. I’m proud to see that the data on roundabouts remains consistent on saving lives and reducing crash severity. - PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll.

According to the PennDOT study, The 39 intersections were selected based on having at least three years of crash data available before and after the roundabouts were built. It goes on to note that because of roundabouts "crashes involving suspected serious injuries were reduced by 24%; crashes involving suspected non-serious injuries were reduced by 51%; and the total number of crashes were reduced by 3%."

The Counties with roundabouts that were part of the study include Berks  Bucks, Crawford, Cumberland, Luzerne and Wyoming.

PennDOT concludes that "Although roundabouts are typically safer and more efficient than traditional signalized intersections, they may not always be the best option due to topography or other reasons, such as property impacts, capacity issues and proximity to other intersections."

13 Incredible Places To Visit At Least Once In New York's Southern Tier

13 Incredible Places To Visit At Least Once In New York's Southern Tier

The Southern Tier Speaks – Former Binghamton Area Restaurants We Miss

The Southern Tier has been home to many incredible restaurants over the years and we wanted to find out which ones you miss the most. We asked and you answered - here's what you said.

Worst School Cafeteria Food Ever

Worst School Cafeteria Food Ever

More From WNBF News Radio 1290 AM & 92.1 FM