SWOV Catalogus


Roundabouts and other intersections. [Formerly known as: Roundabouts.]
C 40938 [electronic version only] /82 /73 / ITRD E208784

The Hague, SWOV - Institute for Road Safety Research, 2021, Pp., 41 ref.; SWOV Fact sheet

Samenvatting An intersection is a location where roads intersect or split and where road users may change direction. There are two main groups of intersections: unprioritised intersections and prioritised intersections. At the former intersection, drivers coming from the right have right of way. Intersections may have three, four, or five legs, and they may have been designed differently. At priority intersections, right of way is controlled by traffic signs, road markings and/or traffic lights. About one third of the road deaths on Dutch roads occur at intersections. Within the urban area, this amounts to half and outside the urban area to slightly less than a quarter of the road deaths. Among cyclists and (light) moped riders relatively many road deaths occur at intersections. A roundabout is the safest kind of intersection, because there are fewer conflict zones, because speed is lower, and impact angles are smaller than at a conventional intersection. For cyclists and pedestrians, roundabouts are also safer than other kinds of intersections; at least in the Netherlands they are. Sustainable Safety advises roundabouts at locations where two distributor roads intersect. In general, Sustainable Safety only allows conflicts between vehicles when they do not differ greatly in speed and/or mass. That is why, from a road safety perspective, speed reduction measures are needed at or near intersections. Apart from the intersections, there are also multi-level and level crossings, but these fall outside the scope of this fact sheet. At multi-level crossings, no traffic is exchanged and therefore the conflicts that occur at other intersections are avoided. At level crossings, facilities for other kinds of traffic are crossed, for example public transport facilities (see SWOV fact sheet Public transport and level crossings at https://www.swov.nl/en/facts-figures/factsheet/public-transport-and-level-crossings) or pedestrian and bicycle crossings (see SWOV fact sheet Infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists at https://www.swov.nl/en/facts-figures/factsheet/infrastructure-pedestrians-and-cyclists).
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