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New Michigan Roundabouts coming to an intersection near you

March 12, 2018 by Steven M. Gursten

Groan or applaud, these are the intersections that will be transformed into roundabouts soon

New Michigan roundabouts are coming soon.

Starting in the spring and continuing over the next two years, the Michigan Department of Transportation, county road commissions and local road crews will be hard at work transforming 20 Michigan intersections into roundabouts.

Traffic experts tout roundabouts as being more safe than conventional intersections. Car accident statistics of the most dangerous intersections and roads in Michigan seem to conflict (our auto accident attorneys publish a yearly listing of the areas in Michigan with the most reported car accidents, and roundabouts top the list).

But ready or not, new Michigan roundabouts are coming. Some other areas with existing roundabouts are going to be modified to address specific traffic problem areas.

Roundabouts are nothing new to most Michigan drivers, but some areas, including Jackson and Marquette, will see multiple new roundabouts popping up in the near future.

To see if a roundabout may be coming to an intersection near you, please check out the map below, which highlights in yellow the proposed roundabouts slated to be installed in the 2018 and 2019 construction seasons.

How to safely use roundabouts?

In addition to learning which Michigan roundabouts have the most car crashes and how “fault” is determined in a roundabout-related car accident, drivers can find valuable tips and advice about safely navigating roundabouts in Michigan Auto Law’s “Michigan Roundabout Resource Center.”

For instance, in our Michigan Roundabout Resource Center, we relate the following helpful advice from the MDOT on “How to drive in a roundabout”:

  • “Slow down, watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, and be prepared to stop if there are vehicles ahead of you.”
  • “[Y]ou must drive to the right of the center island in a counterclockwise fashion.”
  • “Before you enter, look to your left and watch for vehicles already in the roundabout. You must yield to any circulating traffic. Once there is room to enter the roundabout, safely fill in the gap.”
  • “Do not stop while traveling in the roundabout.”
  • “Upon passing the street prior to your exit, turn on your right turn signal and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists as you exit.”

Following these crucial steps will help drivers avoid a crash and navigate roundabouts more safely and effectively.

Modifying existing roundabouts to fix dangerous areas and reduce car crashes

In addition to the new construction, several area roundabouts will be modified in an effort to reduce the number of car crashes.

Livingston County Road Commission is removing the outside lane this summer on two of the three Whitmore Lake roundabouts at Lee Road and U.S. 23, which has been identified as being a contributing factor to many of the roundabout-related crashes.

Roundabouts that are still in the planning stages, such as one in Jackson, are being updated with improved road markings and signs to reduce driver confusion – a common cause of roundabout car crashes.

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