Roundabouts have become common fixtures on Michigan’s roads. The State’s first roundabout was built in 1996 by the Road Commission for Oakland County. Roundabouts quickly gained popularity due to their ability to enhance safety and reduce congestion. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a modern roundabout provides a 39% reduction in total crashes and a 90% reduction in serious injury and fatality crashes.
While today’s drivers’ education courses do include lessons on driving roundabouts, many of us received our licenses before we encountered our first roundabout. It is important that motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and commercial vehicle operators understand the golden rules of traveling roundabouts:
- Yield and wait for a safe gap in circulating traffic before entering the roundabout. Do not merge into the roundabout like you would with a high-speed freeway entry ramp.
- Avoid changing lanes within a multi-lane roundabout.
- Do not stop inside the roundabout unless traffic conditions require you to do so.
- Use your signals to show others you are exiting.