OSU study: Roundabouts could be key to stopping distracted driving

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - A study by the Risk Institute at The Ohio State University has found roundabouts prevent distracted driving.

The university research group studied driver response and behaviors and found no fatalities within Ohio roundabouts.

“Focusing on roundabouts, we saw no fatalities at all within roundabouts as contrasted to a more conventional cross intersection,” said Executive Director of Risk Institute Phil Renaud. “There’s plenty of signage that requires people to yield and pay attention as they approach the roundabout.”

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Researchers have determined that driving crashes are five-to-10 times more likely to be fatal than severe in a rear-end or lane-change head-on crash.

Researchers also determined distracted driving caused 18 percent of overall Ohio crash fatalities and 16 percent of serious injuries in Ohio.

“We’ve got to do something to get ahead of this,” Renaud said. “Our phones are becoming fixtures, things that we incorporate and use... Our phones are becoming just a way of life.”

Phase two of the study is slated to begin in 2019, which will focus on distracted drivers outside the state of Ohio.