Roundabouts are the best at-grade intersection form for rural areas when we look at protecting the travelling public.  

The reasons for the super safety levels at roundabouts in rural areas are: 

  • Fewer conflict points in comparison to conventional intersections. The potential for hazardous conflicts, such as right angle and right turn head-on crashes is eliminated with roundabout use.  
  • Single-lane approach roundabouts produce greater safety benefits than multilane approaches because of fewer potential conflicts between road users.  
  • Low speeds of vehicles approaching and navigating a roundabout which allows drivers more time to react to potential conflicts, and if something happens, the energy is lower. 
  • The angle of crashes between vehicles are better so if crashes do occur the severity is low. 
  • Drivers are more alert to the intersection which in turn increases their ability to predict and react to other vehicles. 

Do roundabouts need to be as big as the one in the image? That’s the topic for some of our future Safe System Snippets.