Roundabouts have a design specifically meant to improve traffic flow and reduce accidents at intersections. In many cases, they are successful, but they can still pose risks if not navigated carefully.
They can be confusing, especially for inexperienced drivers who may not understand the proper lane usage or yield rules, raising the likelihood of collisions. Speeding, aggressive driving and lowered visibility due to larger vehicles also add danger. By practicing caution, you can help lower the possibility of an accident even more.
Yield to the appropriate parties
Always yield to vehicles already inside the roundabout. Wait for a safe gap before entering the circular intersection. Make sure to drive counterclockwise and avoid “cutting” in front of the circles. Watch for pedestrians and yield to them, giving them plenty of space to cross.
Stay in the correct lane
Understand the lane markings and choose the appropriate lane based on your exit. Signal your intentions early to inform other drivers of your intended exit. Avoid changing lanes or exceeding the speed limit.
Give space to large vehicles
If sharing the roundabout with large vehicles, provide them with extra space and time to maneuver. Larger vehicles can obstruct your vision, so be extra vigilant around them. Be patient and avoid aggressive driving behaviors.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts encourage lower speeds, reduce conflict areas and increase safety. Their inclusion often leads to a decrease in deadly wrecks. However, accidents still occur. By understanding the proper way to navigate a roundabout and exercising caution, you can make your travel around one safer for you and others on the road.