Are roundabouts built for semis?

GREEN BAY – Round and around they go.

The circular intersection on Green Bay’s west side stays pretty busy.

The DOT says anywhere from 40,000 to 45,0000 cars and trucks travel through this roundabout on West Mason every single day.

But not everyone makes it through safely.

Officials say in the last four months at least three semis have tipped over in the roundabout at West Mason Street near U.S. 41.

Are roundabouts built to handle semis?

“A contributing factor in all three of them were drivers were going too fast,” said Randy Asman, DOT traffic engineer.

With more than 11,000 drivers, Schneider says it makes sure its drivers are well trained before they head out on the road full time.

That training also includes how to navigate a roundabout.

“We talk to them about, most critically, to look ahead and read the signs as to which lane they should set up in based on the way they want to navigate through. So are they going to do a through movement, a left turn, or a right turn and make sure that they’re in the correct lane,” said Senior V.P. Safety Security Schneider Safety & Security Donald Osterberg.

Brown County has the highest amount of roundabouts in the state totaling 47.

The DOT says they aren’t going away, by 2018 you’ll be seeing 26 more.

That’s because the circular intersections are considered much safer. Studies have shown roundabouts can reduce crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or signals used to be.

“Semi’s fit in all of our roundabouts. There’s a truck apron on the inside to help trucks maneuver through the roundabout. So are they not safe for roundabouts? I would say that’s not the case,” Asman said.

Asman says no matter what you’re driving, you should slow down and always pay attention while in a roundabout.

The DOT says drivers should give trucks enough room while traveling through a roundabout and never try to pass them.

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