Crash Reductions Following the Installation of Roundabouts in the United States

Modern roundabouts are designed to control traffic flow at intersections without the use of stop signs or traffic signals. U.S. experience with modern roundabouts is rather limited to date, but in recent years there has been growing interest in their potential benefits and a relatively large increase in roundabout construction. The present study evaluated changes in motor vehicle crashes following conversion of 24 intersections from stop sign and traffic signal control to modern roundabouts. The settings, located in 8 states, were a mix of urban, suburban, and rural environments. A before-after study was conducted using the empirical Bayes approach, which accounts for regression to the mean. Overall, the empirical Bayes procedure estimated highly significant reductions of 39 percent for all crash severities combined and 76 percent for all injury crashes. Reductions in the numbers of fatal and incapacitating injury crashes were estimated to be about 90 percent. Overall, results are consistent with numerous international studies and suggest that roundabout installation should be strongly promoted as an effective safety treatment for intersections.

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