Whatever happened to roundabouts being safer? Tips driving safely through roundabouts and reducing roundabout car accidents
Last week, I wrote a blog about the 10 most dangerous intersections in Oakland County, Michigan for 2011. I found this list especially interesting, because three of the worst intersections are roundabouts, which are supposed to reduce car accidents.
According to an article in the Spinal Column, Lake Area home to 3 of 10 highest crash intersections, A study published in the Transportation Research Record reported that converting 23 test intersections throughout the U.S. from traffic signals to roundabouts reduced car accidents causing injuries by 80 percent, and reduced all crashes by 40 percent in those areas.
Still, Michigan drivers seem to remain confused by the workings of roundabouts, and the numbers show that people are crashing in them.
Here are the bad intersections in Oakland County that are also roundabouts:
No. 3 – Hamlin Road and Livernois, Rochester Hills, 68 car accidents
No. 4 – Maple Road and Drake Road, West Bloomfield, 66 car accidents
No. 5 – Farmington Road and Maple ROad, West Bloomfield, 65 car accidents
Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) Spokesperson Craig Bryson told the Spinal Column, “One critical point is that the number of injury accidents are down; however, the number of side-swipe accidents have increased — which is a national phenomenon,” said “A lot of national research is being done and we’re studying it locally, too.”
But roundabout accidents can be reduced if drivers are familiar with the proper way to navigate roundabouts, and pay attention to lane markings, signage and other vehicles.
Here’s information about Michigan roundabouts and roundabout safety from one of our previous blogs, How do I drive roundabouts?
As a reminder, our attorneys have provided 7 tips for driving through Michigan roundabouts.
- Slow down as you approach the roundabout.
- Use the guide signs and lane markers to choose your appropriate lane.
- Yield to pedestrians and bikers as you approach the crosswalk.
- Slow down as you approach the yield sign and dashed yield line. Look both ways to check if other
- vehicles are traveling within the roundabout.
- Once there’s an appropriate gap in traffic, enter the roundabout. Don’t stop or change lanes.
- As you approach your destination, signal your exit with your turn signal.
- Also, remember to Get exit the roundabout quickly if an emergency vehicle approaches.
– Steven Gursten is head of Michigan Auto Law and president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association. Steve frequently writes and speaks on safe driving and Michigan auto laws.
Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit. Call (800) 777-0028 to speak with one of our attorneys.