Roundabouts make waiting at traffic lights obsolete, yet for some drivers who are unfamiliar with them, they might mean an additional stress factor. Depending on their design, they can be harder for cyclists and pedestrians to cross. For the driver, however, roundabouts have been proven to be a faster and safer way to pass through an intersection. Additional benefits of going round in circles include saving space (because there is no need for multiple lanes leading up to a stop light) and lower costs (because of easier maintenance).
Some countries in Europe have made the roundabout their go-to intersection – notably France and Spain. France has 967 traffic circles per million inhabitants, according to an evaluation by the blog erdavis.com. In Spain the number is somewhat lower at 591 per one million people, but still high compared to elsewhere. Other countries, like the U.S. and Germany, still shy away from using the infrastructure, often citing fears that drivers who are not used to roundabouts might have trouble with the concept of yielding upon entering the circle.