KYTC: Crashes reduced by the KY 56/KY 81 roundabout in Owensboro


OWENSBORO, Ky. (April 26, 2016) – The roundabout at the intersection of KY 56 and KY 81 west of Owensboro has witnessed lower traffic crashes since it opened in October of 2013.

During the last three years of operation prior to construction of the roundabout, there were 26 reported crashes, of which 10 involved injuries.  During more than 30 months of operation with the new roundabout installed, police have recorded 15 crashes, with no reported injuries.

“We would prefer those crash rates to be lower,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) District 2 Chief Engineer Kevin McClearn.  “However, going from 10 injury crashes to zero speaks volumes about the added safety provided by the roundabout.”

An analysis of individual police crash reports for the roundabout shows most of the crashes are rear-end collisions.  One such crash was caused by someone attempting to back up instead of going around the roundabout to make a connection.  A couple of the crashes were in the weeks immediately after the roundabout opened; one was attributed to DUI.

McClearn said the new roundabout is a great improvement over the old “trumpet” intersection it replaced.

“A roundabout provides added safety due its eight traffic conflict points as compared to 32 for a normal intersection,” McClearn said   “Collisions in roundabouts tend to happen at a lower speed and are less likely to cause injuries .”

A brief tutorial on how to drive through a roundabout can be found at:

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(Photo: KYTC)


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