By Clair Morton
Last updated on: August 13, 2018 at 10:41 am
The Britannia roundabout, on Adelaide’s eastern ring route, earned its reputation long ago as a notorious crash spot.
It’s why the state government invested $3.2 million to improve safety by splitting the roundabout into two.
The first cars drove through the upgraded roundabouts at the end of 2013, but did this transformation actually work?
Perhaps not as well as intended.
According to the latest RAA crash data, 153 crashes – an average of 51 each year – were reported at Britannia roundabout over the three years from 2014–16, making it the most prolific crash spot in South Australia over that time period.
This is followed by Main North and Grand Junction Rd intersection, which recorded 81 crashes for the same period.
The South Rd and Manton St intersection and the corner of Regency and Main North Rd tied for third place at 74.
RAA Senior Manager of Road Safety Charles Mountain said the number of property-damage crashes at the Britannia roundabout had reduced by 24%, compared to the three years before the upgrade.
What seems to be a continuing issue, however, are crashes where there’s an injury.
“From 2010–12 there were 26 casualty crashes, but from 2014–16 there were 35,” Mr Mountain said.
“We need more time to establish whether this forms a trend, but it’s something to keep an eye on.”
A report produced for the Adelaide City Council by its staff in June agreed with this assessment and said an overpass or underpass should be considered to make the intersection safer.
Interestingly, only one of the most common crash spots was not at an intersection – a stretch of the Southern Expressway between the Panalatinga on-ramp and the Marion Rd off-ramp, which came in at number 18.
“With traffic moving in several different directions, intersections are one of the most complex traffic situations motorists and other road users face, so it’s not a surprise there are more crashes at intersections than anywhere else,” Mr Mountain said.
So when are all of these crashes happening?
Data taken from the 20 worst intersections shows you’re more likely to be involved in a crash at one of these spots on a weekday, between the peak periods of 8–9am and 3–6pm.
The worst hour of the day for crashes is 5–6pm (10% of all crashes), and the worst day of the week is Friday.
If you’re hoping to avoid a crash, statistically the best time to travel through one of these intersections is on a Sunday.