Snowfall and roundabouts make for tricky driving conditions

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Snowfall and roundabouts can be a bad combination, and with the addition of six new roundabouts this year in Marquette, driving can be tricky.

Monday night, a driver struck a yield sign at the new hospital roundabout in Marquette, completely taking it out.

"People have to be aware the roundabouts are new. With the snowfall, the width of the lane isn't as wide because they can't totally clear everything, so the widths are down. Usually two cars can get in there and so you have to be aware that people are going to be snugging in those two car lanes, so you're not side swiping," said Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt.

"Because of the snow, the markings of the lanes aren't really showing that well, so first of all people have to slow down," added Zybert. "They're not familiar with the roundabouts. And second of all, because the new snowfall, of course you have slippery sliding and then you have the limited width of the lanes, so those two or three things in combination can make them a little more dangerous and you just have to be a lot more aware."

Luckily, the road commissions have been pretty responsive with plowing and keeping road conditions fairly safe while traveling through the roundabouts.

"When I go to work in the morning they usually have a couple plows in a row and they'll do a loop and get all of it and continue on, so it's pretty much all clear," says Taylor Stevens, a Pepsi driver who used the roundabouts often.

But not everyone has had positive experiences Tuesday.

"With the winter conditions and people not being familiar with how roundabouts function, they've been fairly dangerous today. I personally was almost t-boned this morning going to my exam," says Jack Ziegler, a student at Northern Michigan University. Thankfully Ziegler wasn't hit and there haven't been any major accidents reported.

"There have been some small fender benders, and you will continue to get those. The main thing with the roundabouts is you're not getting the rear end collisions where people are stopping and smacking into someone who is stopped. So the type of collisions are less severe and there's not as many injuries," said Sheriff Zyburt.

One of the main reasons these roundabouts were installed in the first place was for safety.

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