Intersection Control and Safety: a Comparative Study of the Us and Four European Countries

Intersection Control and Safety: a Comparative Study of the Us and Four European Countries


R Cunard, Transportation Research Board, US



In the United States, approximately 25 percent of fatal crashes are intersection-related; of these, more than one-third occur at signalized intersections. Given this fact, increasing safety at signalized intersections is a priority for transportation agencies in the U.S. The Federal Highway Administration has identified intersection safety as one of three priority areas for attention, and the Strategic Highway Safety Plan of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) includes improving the design and operation of highway intersections as one of its 22 key emphasis areas.

In an attempt to bring new and different concepts and approaches to the problem of signalized intersection safety, a team of thirteen intersection safety experts from the United States participated in a scanning tour of four European countries to focus on innovative signalized intersection safety practices in Europe. The objective of the tour was to identify safety practices and evaluate their applicability to the United States.

The four countries chosen for the scan team to visit were Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. These countries were chosen for their strong national focus on safety issues; their focus on reducing traffic fatalities; their reputation as international leaders in safety and traffic operations management; and their emphasis on safety and operations at signalized intersections.

Through meetings with representatives from each country, site visits, and field observations, the team identified programs and strategies that could be implemented in the United States. This presentation will compare intersection safety in the United States and focus on he innovative intersection safety practices in each country.


Association for European Transport