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What Michigan Roundabouts Were The Most Dangerous in 2020?

August 18, 2021 by Steven M. Gursten

What Michigan Roundabouts Were The Most Dangerous in 2020?

Before we get into our list of the Most Dangerous Michigan Roundabouts in 2020 we might as well state the obvious; drivers either LOVE or HATE the traffic circles that have been popping up all over the state.

This circular design allows traffic to move faster. In theory, they are also safer and proponents point out that injuries from crashes that occur in them are overall less serious than auto accidents in traditional traffic signal and stop sign intersections.

Reality sometimes works out differently than theory though. In fact, on our list of Michigan’s Most Dangerous Intersections in 2020, four of the top twenty intersections with the most car crashes were these uniquely designed traffic circles. Thousands of drivers are filled with anxiety and confusion when approaching this unique traffic design, and as the statistics of reported auto accidents  show, they have good reason to be anxious.

Our attorneys would like to thank the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit for their assistance in providing the underlying car crash report data that we use to identify the Most Dangerous Michigan Roundabouts in 2020. The underlying auto accident report data analysis for the list below is based on traffic accident reports filed by local law enforcement and police departments throughout Michigan.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Michigan Roundabouts in 2020

1.      18 1/2 MILE RD @ VAN DYKE AVE, Sterling Heights, 131 Total Crashes, 8 Injuries

2.      MARTIN PKWY @ N PONTIAC TRL, Commerce Twp, 110 Total Crashes, 4 Injuries

3.      ORCHARD LAKE RD @ 14 MILE RD, Farmington Hills, 89 Total Crashes, 11 Injuries

4.      STATE RD @ W ELLSWORTH RD, Ann Arbor, 69 Total Crashes, 6 Injuries

5.      FARMINGTON RD @ W MAPLE RD, West Bloomfield Twp, 43 Total Crashes, 2 Injuries

6.      FARMINGTON RD @ W 14 MILE RD, Farmington Hills, 37 Total Crashes, 4 Injuries

7.      OAKLEY PARK RD @ MARTIN PKWY, Commerce Twp, 37 Total Crashes, 0 Injuries

8.      LIVERNOIS RD @ W HAMLIN RD, Rochester Hills, 35 Total Crashes, 5 Injuries

9.      LEE RD @ WHITMORE LAKE RD (WEST of US 23), Green Oak Twp, 35 Total Crashes, 2 Injuries

10.   SPRINKLE RD @ CORK ST (NORTH OF I 94), Kalamazoo, 33 Total Crashes, 6 Injuries

Source: Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting Unit (Note: Any roundabouts constructed in 2020 are not included on our list of Most Dangerous Michigan Roundabouts in 2020. A full year of data is necessary before one can be evaluated for whether it should be included in our annual list.)

No. 1: 18 ½ Mile Road and Van Dyke Ave, Sterling Heights

This busy Michigan roundabout remained in the top spot on our list for 2020 even with a 43% reduction in crashes from 229 in 2019 to 131 total crashes last year. Unfortunately for the second year in a row this was also the number one intersection in the state for total auto accidents.  The high volume of crashes remains a concern given this intersection has been a roundabout for well over ten years and local drivers are familiar with it. Thankfully the number of injuries decreased, from 14 in 2019 to just 8 in 2020. Our Sterling Heights car accident lawyers urge drivers to use caution in this area.   

No. 2: Pontiac Trail and M-5/Martin Parkway – Commerce Township

As Oakland County’s largest roundabout, this area sees very heavy traffic volumes every year, making this the fourth highest intersection in the state for total crashes – in addition to being number one for Oakland County. There was a decrease in auto accidents with 110 in 2020 compared to 161 in 2019. Also, there were only 4 reported injuries in 2020 which once again speaks to the safety improvements seen from converting a traditional intersection into a roundabout. 

No. 3: Orchard Lake and 14 Mile Roads – Farmington Hills/West Bloomfield

Not far behind is another congested Michigan roundabout that saw a 50% decrease in car crashes, going from 178 accidents in 2019 to 89 in 2020.  Unfortunately, while the number of injuries decreased from 22 in 2019 to 11 in 2020, this intersection still had the highest number of injuries of any roundabout in the state.  The area also likely had higher than usual traffic volume with the closure of the Maple and Middlebelt intersection in 2020. 

No 4: State Street and Ellsworth Road – Ann Arbor/Pittsfield Township

Retaining the number 4 spot once again in our list is the busy area bordering Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township. After a few years of increases, this intersection saw a welcome decrease in the total number of crashes, going from 154 in 2019 to 69 in 2020. Reported injuries continue to remain far below average, confirming that roundabout designs lower the likelihood of a serious personal injury or fatality.  Our Ann Arbor auto accident lawyers urge drivers to use caution in this busy area.

No. 5: Farmington Road and Maple Road – West Bloomfield

Moving up several spots on our list Most Dangerous Roundabouts in 2020 for Michigan compared to last year’s list is a heavily traveled section of Maple Road in West Bloomfield.  While most traffic circles saw crashes decrease approximately 50% between 2019 and 2020this area had just a 22% decrease, going from 55 crashes in 2019 to 43 in 2020.  

Michigan roundabout rules for safe driving

Driver education is a critical component of driving safely through these circular intersections.

We’ve seen an increase in recent initiatives by local law enforcement to monitor drivers and provide needed education. Hopefully these efforts, along with other Michigan safety initiatives, will help drivers navigate these intersections with less overall car crashes throughout the state.

To learn how to safely drive through these circular intersections, you can visit our Michigan Roundabout Resource Center to view an interactive map of both existing and proposed traffic circles as well as an explanation of how to determine who is at fault in an auto accident in these types of junctions.

Our safety tips include the following from the Michigan Department of Transportation:

  • “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 circular intersection. You must yield to any circulating traffic. Once there is room to enter, then safely fill in the gap.”
  • “Do not stop while traveling in the circular intersection.”
  • “Upon passing the street prior to your exit, turn on your right turn signal and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists as you exit.”

We also invite you to visit Michigan’s Most Dangerous Intersections page for a complete list of which intersections, including traffic signals, roundabouts and stop signs, had the highest number of crashes in 2020.

Need help after a car crash? Call Michigan Auto Law first for a free consultation

If you have been injured in a car crash at one of Michigan’s most dangerous roundabouts or anywhere in the state – you can call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 968-1001  for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident lawyers. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. You can also get help from an experienced auto accident attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.

What Michigan Roundabouts Were The Most Dangerous in 2020?

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