Investigating the role of exiting vehicles and turn indicator usage in gap acceptance at single-lane roundabouts

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Abstract

Roundabouts are becoming a preferred form of intersection control type due to their safety and capacity benefits. Yield control at roundabout entries inherently reduces fuel consumption and emissions when compared to other conventional intersection types. However, these benefits can be limited by poor driver behavior and judgment when entering the roundabout. This research addresses the nature of gap distributions and use of turn indicators by exiting vehicles at three single-lane roundabouts in Vermont, New York, and Alaska. Presented here is a comparison of vehicle headways measured at two different locations in each roundabout. Rejected headways are analyzed in the context of priority abstaining events when entering drivers yield to vehicles exiting on the same leg of the roundabout suggesting that “true” critical gaps are being overestimated. Results indicate that exiting vehicles, particularly those that do not use their turn indicators when departing from the major-stream of traffic have an influence on the entry decision of drivers on the same approach. This behavior is of particular concern for intersection efficiency (i.e., delay) and sustainability (i.e., excess fuel consumption and emissions). Results prompt the consideration of more consistent guidance on and enforcement of turn indicator use during roundabout negotiations.

Keywords

roundabouts exiting vehicles turn indicator use headways 

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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Alaska – FairbanksFairbanksUSA

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