Safety evaluation of urban roundabouts in India: a safety performance function-based approach
Keywords:negative binomial, roundabouts, safety performance function, weaving length
There is a lack of comprehensive research in roundabout safety under non-lane-based traffic conditions, mainly due to the absence of relevant crash data and effective tools for safety evaluation. Safety Performance Function (SPF) is a suitable tool for providing valuable information related to factors which can potentially contribute to the likelihood of increasing traffic crashes. Currently, very limited studies are available to explain the usefulness of SPF in the vicinity of roundabouts, especially at non-lane-based traffic conditions. This study aims to develop an SPF model for assessing the safety evaluation at roundabouts as a whole (intersection level) and the approach level. Data corresponding to crashes in nineteen roundabouts with different geometric and traffic characteristics was used for model formulation. Crash data for five years (2015–2019) was obtained from the State Crime Records Bureau. An SPF model was developed using a negative binomial model with a log-link function based on the number of crashes, traffic characteristics, and geometry characteristics of the roundabouts. The proportion of powered two-wheelers, percentage of heavy vehicles, entry-angle, and weaving-length were all significantly related with higher crash occurrences at roundabouts, according to the findings. In contrast, the number of circulatory lanes, inscribed circle diameter, and presence of road lane marking were negatively associated with the increased crash occurrences at the roundabout vicinity. In addition to this, the overall crash rate significantly varies across roundabout sections due to the asymmetric effects of geometric and traffic characteristics. The developed SPF would best explain the relationship between geometric and traffic characteristics and the crash occurrence rate in non-lane traffic conditions. The findings of this study support the need to relook at design parameters for better movement at the roundabouts, thereby improving the existing facilities to enhance road users' safety, especially in developing countries. The proposed SPF tool would help engineers examine the safety of roundabouts in terms of design adequacy, quantifying the risk factors, and future crash predictions.
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