A strategy to reduce older driver injuries at intersections using more accommodating roundabout design practices

Accid Anal Prev. 2007 May;39(3):427-32. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2006.09.011. Epub 2006 Nov 7.


This paper briefly summarizes a laboratory study investigating strategies designed to improve the ability of our most vulnerable drivers, the elderly, to safely negotiate the most dangerous and demanding of all traffic situations--intersections--through increased use of modern roundabouts. Compared to conventional intersections, roundabouts have demonstrated the potential to significantly reduce the most injurious (angle) type of crashes and slow the operating speed of all vehicles, while maintaining a high capacity for moving traffic through an intersection. This research sought to develop and evaluate countermeasures with the potential to improve the perceived comfort, confidence, and/or safety of seniors in using roundabouts. Research methods included focus groups and structured interviews utilizing photographs, which had been edited to include novel traffic control devices. The results suggest that design elements that improve the path guidance for older drivers are necessary to encourage roundabout use by this group. Recommendations for improved practice related to advance warning signs, guide signs, yield treatments, directional signs, and exit treatments are presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arizona
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Environment Design*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety / standards*
  • Texas