A Comparative Evaluation of the Safety Performance of Roundabouts and Traditional Intersection Controls

Document Type



Because roundabouts eliminate conflict points and reduce vehicle speeds, they are often deployed to improve the safety characteristics of intersections. This paper summarizes the results of a safety analysis of the roundabouts located in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The evaluation compares traffic crashes in the proximity of roundabouts with those at comparable conventional STOP-controlled and signalized intersections. Traffic volumes were used to normalize the number of crashes. Five years of crash data were used for the study. The comparison of the intersection controls is done with respect to the time of the crash, contributing factors, type of crash, roadway conditions etc. Statistical tests were used to evaluate the significance of these results. The results indicate that roundabout control is safer that STOP/signal control at intersections with minor and medium levels of traffic volume. Although high volume intersections with signalized traffic controls appeared to be safer than the corresponding candidate roundabouts, the results were not statistically significant. Improved road design and public awareness could also increase intersection safety at such roundabouts.


Accident data; Alternatives analysis; Intersections; Metropolitan areas; Motor vehicles; Motor vehicles—Speed; Roads; Roads--Interchanges and intersections; Roundabouts; Speed limits; Statistical analysis; Traffic accidents; Traffic accidents--Data processing; Traffic circles; Traffic control; Traffic engineering; Traffic flow; Traffic safety; Traffic volume; Vehicles; Vehicles--Speed


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering


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