In the US, the four-way-stop intersection is king, with little competition from roundabouts. In Europe, things are reversed, and the roundabout is much more common than four-way-stop intersections. While it has been said before that the roundabout is a more efficient way to handle traffic at a busy intersection, Mythbusters aims to find out the truth.

We'll be the first to admit that roundabouts can be confusing to us Americans, but the Mythbusters crew thinks that could be a result of little familiarity with the traffic tool in the US. We were super curious to see the results of this test, and this writer admits to being on the wrong side of the fence when it came to guessing which intersection was more efficient.

So, which method is the most efficient? You'll have to watch the video below to find out. And regardless of the video's outcome, let us know which system you think is best in the poll below.





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 271 Comments
      delsolo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      But roundabouts are difficult to navigate while texting
      foxtrot685
      • 1 Year Ago
      The problem isnt the round-about itself, its the people who don't know how to use them and freak out once they're in the circle.
      jz78817
      • 1 Year Ago
      "We'll be the first to admit that roundabouts can be confusing to us Americans, " speak for yourself. They've popped up all over Oakland and Macomb counties (MI,) and aside from the occasional nimp who doesn't grasp that whole "yield to traffic already in the circle," they work a lot better than the disastrous 4-way or signaled intersections they replaced. The Van Dyke-M53-18-1/2 Mile intersection used to be hell on earth until they put a big roundabout there.
      angryPirate12
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am a huge fan of roundabouts, i love using them every chance i get. But we can ignore the fact that Americans aren't familiar with them and therefore won't use them properly. Americans need to first learn to use there turn signal for all lane changing and turning endeavors, a simple law and courtesy that is lost on a vast majority of drivers on the road today.
      alx
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of the other benefits of a roundabout is that if you see no one coming from your right (here in Australia) then you can shoot through at 30km/h without coming to a stop at all which is a lot faster than a 4 way stop as you don't need to stop at all. One negative of the roundabout is that it wears your tyres out a lot faster than 4 way stops.
      bruce1
      • 1 Year Ago
      In Carmel Indiana we are closing in on 90 modern day roundabouts. The new roundabouts are even more efficient then the basic rotary set up in the demonstration. Add a mound in the middle with landscaping to obscure traffic except to the left and experts say they are even more efficient Additionally experts say a modern roundabout can save 5000 to 20,000 gals of gas a year. In 2012 engineers from around the world met in Carmel to observe the many different configurations. There are a series of elevated dog bone roundabouts that are part of a limited access 4 lane highway
      Set
      • 1 Year Ago
      Any governing body worth a damn should be implementing roundabouts into their cities and towns. I'm pretty sure the guys on the show knew this wasn't a myth, but just felt like showing the ignorant American public something they have refused to implement as a whole. Also, it wasn't mentioned, but roundabouts are much better on gas too.
      56Jalopy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I live in Fl. At four way stops there are so many non drivers that. Do not take their own turn it is pathetic. I am from England and even with my inexperience I quickly adapted last year to roundabouts and it was a pleasure.
      Ross Gardler
      • 1 Year Ago
      As an Englishman now living in the US I feel I have some experience here. Roundabouts are safer and more efficient. In the Myth Busters test the drivers were not using their indicators, if they were then throughput would have been even higher since those waiting could safely move out earlier when the oncoming vehicles were indicating right (to properly signal on a roundabout in the US signal left until you've passed the exit before the one you want then signal right). Also bear in mind that a roundabout is not limited to 4 roads (although admittedly with a grid system this is less important)
        DKano
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ross Gardler
        Exactly, roundabouts just make more sense. At four way stops you always have people who don\'t know if it\'s their turn and it slows everyone down. You also have people who think it\'s always their turn and that also slows down the other drivers, to avoid a collision.
      Db
      • 1 Year Ago
      Virtually impossible to get killed at a round-about; can\'\'t say the same thing about stop signs - potential for t-bones and head-ons is much higher. Key is to get people to learn how to use round-abouts.
      PTC DAWG
      • 1 Year Ago
      Less chance of a violent T-bone crash for sure. I like'em
      Cayman
      • 1 Year Ago
      Roundabouts/Circles are definitely more efficient, but one downside is they do take up more real estate than 4 way stops. For lightly trafficed neighborhood intersections, I think 4 ways probably make more sense since they are cheaper and being slower isn\'t that big of an issue. For heavier traffic, circles are probably worth the extra expense. . I wish they had tested a traffic light becuase I\'d be interested to see how that does versus a large circle.
        BLS
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cayman
        Very well put. The 4 way was shockingly efficient however.
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