The Pennsylvania DOT (PennDOT) recently announced that according to department data, fatalities, injuries, and crashes decreased overall at 19 roundabouts at 16 locations after they were built.
"We are glad to promote the use of roundabouts throughout the commonwealth," PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said in a news release. "The facts speak for themselves. Roundabouts save lives and reduce crash severity over standard stop or signal controlled intersections."
PennDOT recently reviewed data for 19 roundabouts on state routes at intersections that were previously stop or signal controlled. These roundabouts were selected based on having at least three years of crash data available before and after the roundabouts were built. These 19 comprise all the roundabouts on state routes that met the selection parameters. Department data based on police-submitted crash reports spanning the years 2000 through 2018 shows that fatalities were reduced; suspected serious injuries were reduced by 90%; suspected minor injuries were reduced by 79%; possible/unknown severity injuries were reduced by 81%; property damage only crashes increased by 10%; and the total number of crashes decreased by 34%.
In addition to the 19 roundabouts meeting the selection criteria, 29 other roundabouts have been built on state routes and over 40 more are in design.
Roundabouts are frequently installed to address intersections with safety issues but may also be installed to improve traffic flow as well as other reasons such as traffic calming, and to facilitate pedestrian mobility. Although roundabouts are safer and typically more efficient than traditional signalized intersections, in many cases they may not be the best option due to topography or other reasons, such as property impacts, capacity issues, and proximity to other intersections.