For younger drivers or those who have driven in foreign cities, roundabouts may not seem new. For older drivers, however, roundabouts may have only been a brief mention (if there was one at all) during a driver’s education class.
These circular intersections are supposed to increase fluidity in the intersection while reducing collisions. Drivers who are unfamiliar with roundabout etiquette, may be skeptical of the advantages of roundabouts and long for something more familiar.
This is what you should know about roundabouts and why they may be a safer option for intersections in your community.
How do roundabouts reduce collisions?
One of the reasons other intersections become dangerous is because there are people who think they can get through the intersection without following the rule. Whether they are racing a yellow light or rolling through a four-way stop, there are always drivers who think they can ignore the rules. Unfortunately, when a driver at a traditional intersection decides to ignore a rule, they are often still going at full speed, creating a dangerous situation if there is a collision.
Roundabouts, on the other hand, force drivers to slow down, regardless of their plans in the intersection. Although there may still be collisions in a roundabout, accidents are more likely to be fender benders, rather than fatalities.
What is roundabout etiquette?
There is nothing more intimidating than a busy roundabout. When the stream of cars coming from your left seems endless and the cars behind you grow impatient, it may seem like your turn will never come. However, gaining confidence in a roundabout only comes with experience.
You may know to slow down and yield to oncoming cars in a roundabout, but what comes next?
The most important rule to remember is that drivers already in the roundabout have the right of way. New cars may enter as there are openings between other vehicles. Even if drivers behind you get impatient, you should wait to enter the roundabout when you have a safe opportunity.
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