Roundabouts - SWOV Fact Sheet

Publication date: 
January 2012

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Roundabouts are safer than intersections because they reduce the number of potential conflicts between road users and lower the driving speed. In the Netherlands, replacing an intersection by a roundabout is estimated to reduce the number of severe casualties by approximately 46%. The traffic flow is usually better on roundabouts than on intersections, and exhaust emission and noise decrease, certainly when compared with signalized intersections. Roundabouts, however, take up more space. There has been discussion for a long time already about whether it is safer or less safe for cyclists and moped riders to have priority on roundabouts with separate bicycle tracks. Roundabouts with priority for cyclists appear to be less safe, but due to mobility reasons cyclists and moped riders generally have priority on Dutch urban roundabouts.