Roundabouts

Aerial photo 2
How to Use a Roundabout
1. Slow down as you approach the roundabout. 15-20 miles per hour is usually about the right speed for approaching and driving in a roundabout.
 
2.
Pick your lane
. Look for the lane-use signs as you approach the roundabout, choose your lane before entering the roundabout and stay in your lane until you exit the roundabout.
 
3.
Yield
. When approaching the roundabout, always yield to pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles in all lanes (the yield sign will show you where to yield).
 
4.
Look left
. Vehicles in the roundabout have the right of way. If there is no traffic in the roundabout, don't stop. If traffic is present, wait for an opening and then enter the roundabout.
 
5.
Give way to large vehicles
. Allow large vehicles the extra turning radius needed to drive next to a large vehicle. Never pass or drive next to a large vehicle in the roundabout.
 
6.
Emergency vehicles
. If you see an emergency vehicle coming, exit the roundabout; do not pull over in the roundabout.
Roundabout Direction
Roundabouts vs. Traditional Intersection
Driving in a roundabout is safer when compared to a traditional, signalized intersection. In a roundabout, the cars are traveling at a slower speed, there are less conflict points, and the accidents which do occur are much less severe.

The images to the right shows the number of conflict points in a roundabout versus a traditional intersection. Most sever injuries and fatalities in traditional intersections occur as a result of broadside "T-bone" collisions (when someone is turning left and is struck broadside by an oncoming vehicle) and head-on collisions. Roundabout virtually eliminate the possibility of either of these types of collisions because of their design. Any crashes that do occur in a roundabout are likely to be sideswipe and low-speed rear-end collisions, neither of which is likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities.

Conflict Points
Studies* have shown that when compared to signalized intersections, roundabouts result in:
  • 90% fewer traffic fatalities
  • 75% fewer injury collisions
*Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "Status Report Vol. 40, No. 9."
  
Increased Capacity
Not only are roundabouts safer, but they allow for more traffic to move through an intersection than does a signalized intersection. Studies have indicated that replacing traffic signals with roundabouts can increase the capacity of a road by 30 to 50 percent.
 
There are currently 28 roundabouts within Oakland County (21 of which are on the RCOC system). At least six more are planned in the next several years.
 
Here are some additional RCOC resources about roundabouts:
 
Getting to Know Roundabouts Video

Roundabout Photo Gallery

Roundabout Brochure

HAWK Crosswalk Beacon Brochure

Top 10 Reasons to Like Roundabouts

Federal Highway Administration's "Roundabouts Informational Guide"

RCOC Managing Director responds to roundabout article (Oakland Press 4/14/17)

14 Mile and Orchard Lake Roundabout

Roundabout