This intersection is in Ann Arbor, and the problem is that it’s recently switched from a four-way traffic light to a roundabout. I was surprised by the number of comments I received about this particular roundabout.
Reading through them, many of these comments involve questions about people driving through roundabouts – and whether most people really even know how to do it correctly. There’s definitely confusion on how to actually navigate through roundabouts. For many drivers, roundabouts have come years, sometimes decades, after they received their licenses.
But roundabouts are here to stay. And while there’s some debate on whether or not they truly reduce the number of car accidents, they’re slowly becoming more common in Michigan, and throughout the entire country.
So I thought I would share this video today, which shows exactly how to drive through a roundabout, from the Michigan Department of Transportation. Hope this helps:
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For more info, here’s a blog post I wrote about roundabout safety.
What is a roundabout?
A roundabout is a circular intersection design. Some people use the term “roundabouts” and “traffic circles” interchangeably, but they are different: Roundabouts are usually smaller than traffic circles. They work on the principle that drivers must yield the right of way to vehicles already in the roundabout before entering.
According to MDOT, when selected and designed correctly, roundabouts can handle a high volume of traffic, including commercial trucks and large emergency vehicles. They cost less than traditional intersections and they improve congestion and increase traffic flow.
You also may visit our Michigan Dangerous Intersections page for a complete list of intersection car crashes (including roundabouts) that can be searched by any Michigan city or county, and our list of Michigan’s 2016 Top 20 Most Dangerous Intersections.