Roundabouts seem to be all the rage lately. Prior to the 2000s there were only small traffic circles in the area, but no roundabouts. That’s for a variety of reasons: not only do they keep traffic moving through an intersection unlike a traffic signal, relieving congestion and lessening air pollution from exhaust, but they are also considered much safer than traditional intersections.

This is because there is less potential for serious crashes in roundabouts – since vehicles all travel around the center island in the same direction, head-on and left-hand turn (T-bone) collisions are eliminated.

Low travel speeds through roundabouts also reduce collisions and the few collisions that do happen are minor because they’re at slow speeds.

Well, despite all that, a Mead-area man managed to hurt himself at the roundabout at Mount Spokane Park Drive and Bruce Road yesterday. Washington State Patrol troopers say the 38-year-old man was headed west on Mount Spokane Park Drive when he failed to turn through the roundabout and instead drove into the traffic control structure at the center of the intersection.

The collision caused his 1990 Chevrolet pickup truck to end up in an adjacent field, troopers said. It’s not clear at this time how seriously he was hurt. The accident is under investigation, but I think that sounds like a case of just plain driving too fast.

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