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Safety in a Roundabout

There are many safety benefits from a roundabout such as; they reduce speeds of vehicles, eliminate right-angle crashes, and reduce the number of vehicle-vehicle and vehicle-pedestrian conflicts at an intersection.  When speeds are reduced at an intersection it allows for all users to judge better when they should enter the roundabout, and to detect and correct their mistakes.  Roundabouts also eliminate any type of high-speed collision, opposing left turn collisions, and head on collisions.

vehicleconflictpointsdiagram

A review of intersections on Region of Waterloo roads that were replaced with a roundabout indicates that collisions involving injuries or fatalities have been reduced by approximately 51%; where collisions in general increased slightly by approximately 35%.

Pedestrian Safety Statistics

A 2011 study completed by Regional staff found:

  • Approximately 900 pedestrians cross 13 Regional roundabouts every day.
  • An estimated 300,000 pedestrians cross 13 Regional roundabouts per year.
  • An estimated 1,200,000 pedestrians have crossed Regional roundabouts safely over the past 5 years.
  • Less serious injuries occur at roundabouts compared to traffic signals.
  • A study of 30 roundabouts in Ontario found that pedestrian collision rates are approximately 40 to 60 per cent less than pedestrian collision rates at comparable traffic signals with similar traffic and pedestrian volumes.

The following chart summarizes the average number of pedestrian collisions occurring on Regional roads at 3 and 4-legged traffic signals and roundabouts by year over the past 5 years.  In general pedestrians have been struck less often on average at roundabouts compared to traffic signals in each year over the last 5 years.

 

The following chart compares the percentage of pedestrian collisions occurring at Signals and Roundabouts based on total collisions reported.  It appears that pedestrians are struck at traffic signals on average once every 50 collisions (1 / 0.02).  Alternatively it appears pedestrians are struck at roundabouts on average approximately once every 100 collisions (1 / 0.01).

 

The following chart summarizes the general location where pedestrian collisions have occurred at roundabouts in the Region of Waterloo.  Roundabouts have been in operation since 2004, and the first pedestrian collision occurred in 2009.

 

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