How do roundabouts affect older drivers?
Age-related declines in vision, hearing, and cognitive functions, as well as physical impairments, may affect some older adults' driving ability. Intersections can be especially challenging for older drivers. Relative to other age groups, senior drivers are over-involved in crashes occurring at intersections. In 2006, forty percent of drivers 70 and older in fatal crashes were involved in multiple-vehicle intersection crashes, compared with 22 percent among drivers younger than 70. Older drivers' intersection crashes often are due to their failure to yield the right-of-way.12 Particular problems for older drivers at traditional intersections include left turns and entering busy thoroughfares from cross streets. Roundabouts eliminate these situations entirely. A recent study in six communities where roundabouts replaced traditional intersections found that about two-thirds of drivers 65 and older supported the roundabouts.13 Although safety effects of roundabouts specifically for older drivers are unknown, the 2001 Institute study of 23 intersections converted from traffic signals or stop signs to roundabouts reported the average age of crash-involved drivers did not increase following the installation of roundabouts, suggesting roundabouts may not pose a problem for older drivers.1

Show All Answers

1. What is a roundabout?
2. How do roundabouts differ from older traffic circles and rotaries?
3. How do roundabouts affect safety?
4. What are the features of a good roundabout designs?
5. What are the common types of crashes at roundabouts? What can be done to prevent them?
6. How do roundabouts affect traffic flow?
7. Are there other benefits?
8. Can roundabouts accommodate larger vehicles?
9. How do roundabouts affect older drivers?
10. Are roundabouts safe for pedestrians?
11. Do drivers favor roundabouts?
12. What are the impediments to building roundabouts?
13. How common are roundabouts in the United States?
14. Do roundabouts require more space than traditional intersections?
15. What are appropriate locations for roundabouts?
16. What types of intersections may not be good candidates for roundabouts?