Evaluating safety effectiveness of roundabouts in Abu Dhabi
Awadhi, Marwa Al
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With more than 460 roundabouts located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, it is imperative to evaluate the safety benefits provided by those roundabouts. In this study, two approaches were used to evaluate those safety benefits. The first approach is by measuring the 85th percentile operating speeds at a sample of 18 roundabouts in Abu Dhabi to determine whether the measured operating speeds conform to what is recommended by design guides. The second approach is by using a questionnaire to measure how drivers in Abu Dhabi perceive safety when driving at roundabouts and to measure their level of knowledge regarding the rules pertaining to driving at roundabouts. The study found that operating speeds at Abu Dhabi roundabouts typically exceed those recommended by design guides. The study also found that only 4.1% of the drivers interviewed demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the rules pertaining to driving at roundabouts. Ordinal regression modeling was used to identify driver groups in need for more awareness of the rules to negotiate roundabouts in Abu Dhabi. The study found that the driver group in most need for more awareness is typically young and middle-age male drivers (below the age of 46 years) with less driving experience in countries where roundabouts are common. The questionnaire also revealed that despite the operational benefits provided by roundabouts (in terms of reduced delay), drivers do not prefer to drive at Abu Dhabi roundabouts, which might be explained by drivers' perception of Abu Dhabi roundabouts being not safe.