Aerial photo of M-5 and Pontiac Trail Roundabout Small Size
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.
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.
. When approaching the roundabout, always yield to pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles in all lanes (the yield sign will show you where to yield).
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.
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.
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 severe 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. Roundabouts 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 sideswipes 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 42 roundabouts on the RCOC system.  More roundabouts will be built. To view planned construction projects, visit

Visit the RCOC GIS map for the location of current and future roundabouts:  CLICK HERE

 Here are some additional RCOC resources about roundabouts:

Federal Highway; Modern Roundabouts: A Safer Choice

National Roundabouts Week

 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"

Dangerous Intersections & RCOC Response (2017)

MI Secretary of State, "What Every Driver Must Know" section on roundabouts

Roundabouts & Signalized Intersections (Federal Highway Administration)

The Municipal article on the U.S. Embracing the Roundabout (2/5/18)

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Roundabout Web Page

Michigan Department of Transportation Roundabout Brochure

Orion Township's young voices step up effort to educate drivers on roundabouts

Bridge piece on roundabouts (1/23/20)

Why the US does not like roundabouts (the difference between a traffic circle and a roundabout)

FHWA video on the "The Rules of the Roundabout."

FHWA video on Principles of Intersection Safety

Navigating a mini roundabout; Virginia Department of Transportation

Aprons are just not for cooking; Montana Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration Proven Counter Measures for Roundabouts 

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