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Safety 2015, 1(1), 94-102; doi:10.3390/safety1010094

Safety Effects of Protected Left-Turn Phasing at Signalized Intersections: An Empirical Analysis

1
Agency for Roads and Traffic, Flemish Government, Koning Albert II-laan 20 bus 4, Brussels 1000, Belgium
2
Transportation Research Institute, Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 5, Diepenbeek 3590, Belgium
3
Fero NV, Jozef de Blockstraat 81-85, Willebroek 2830, Belgium
4
Transportation Research Institute, Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 5, Diepenbeek 3590, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Raphael Grzebieta
Received: 1 September 2015 / Accepted: 9 December 2015 / Published: 12 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Road Safety Evaluation)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [210 KB, uploaded 14 December 2015]

Abstract

Left-turn crashes occur frequently at signalized intersections and often lead to severe injuries. This problem can be addressed through the implementation of protected left-turn signals. This gives left-turning vehicles the right to enter the intersection free from conflict with opposing drivers and pedestrians. The present study analyses the effect of this measure on crash occurrence. The study included 103 signalized intersections with left-turn signals in highways in Flanders, Belgium, of which 33 received only changes in the signal control and 70 also received additional changes. The effect on traffic safety is analyzed through an Empirical Bayesian before-and-after study on crashes, in which general trend effects and regression-to-the-mean are controlled. On the 33 intersections that received only changes in the signal control, the number of injury crashes decreased significantly (−46%, 95% CI (−36%; −55%)) during the after-period. This was mainly attributable to a decrease in left-turn crashes: −60%, 95% CI (−39%; −74%). The number of rear-end injury crashes did not change significantly after the implementation of a protected left-turn signal. A larger effect was identified for more severe crashes (involving serious injuries and fatalities) as compared with crashes resulting in lighter injuries: −66%, 95% CI (43%; −80%). Furthermore, the effect of left-turn phasing on the number of injured car occupants, cyclists, moped riders and motor cyclists was examined, and favorable effects were found for each of these groups. View Full-Text
Keywords: before-and-after study; crash; protected left turn; signalized intersection; traffic safety before-and-after study; crash; protected left turn; signalized intersection; traffic safety
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

De Pauw, E.; Daniels, S.; Van Herck, S.; Wets, G. Safety Effects of Protected Left-Turn Phasing at Signalized Intersections: An Empirical Analysis. Safety 2015, 1, 94-102.

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