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Getting On and Off the Vehicle Merry-Go-Round

Roundabouts: What are they good for?

For the majority of us it has been a long time since we have taken our drivers test. This may mean that as we approach a roundabout we are pretty sure we know exactly what to expect. In recent years, four-way stops have been replaced by more and more roundabouts, so odds are we encounter a roundabout or two on our daily commutes.

The increase in the vehicle merry-go-round can be attributed to attempts to reduce car accidents, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the safety conditions for pedestrians and bikers alike.

As busy drivers with places to be and people to see, we don’t mind them either.   It is 2019 and so roundabouts are a true representation of what our daily lives feel like to a lot of us: we slow down, but perhaps we never really stop.

Roundabout to reduce car accidents

Great, but are they also causing problems?

As convenient as we may find roundabouts, not all of us (or maybe any of us) know how to properly use them.   There is a pretty good chance that the last time you were in a roundabout, you heard the honk of a horn.   It may not necessarily have been directed at you, but as with many rules of the road, there are a surprising amount of people who do not understand proper roundabout etiquette.

While roundabouts may have helped reduce the rate of car accidents generally, a roundabout refresher is always a good idea for those regularly operating vehicles on the road in order to avoid personal injury.

5 reminders about roundabouts

It is true, a roundabout is not rocket science.  However, we want our readers to be safe and confident on the road and there is never any harm in going over the basics, so that you know who may be liable if you are involved in an accident that occurs within a roundabout.  With that in mind, here are the Road Rules for roundabouts:

  1. When approaching a roundabout, yield to pedestrians, cyclists, and any vehicles already inside the roundabout
  2. If two vehicles approach at the exact same time, the vehicle to the right is meant to enter first
  3. If you plan on taking the first exit out of the roundabout, turn on your right turn signal as you enter
  4. If you plan on taking the second exit out of the roundabout, do not turn on your signal until you approach the exit, and then turn on your right turn signal
  5. If you plan on taking the third exit out of the roundabout, first turn on your left turn signal to signify that you intend to take a later exit, and then switch to your right turn signal once you approach your exit

Perhaps you already knew all of these rules.  Or, possibly you had seen a vehicle do Rule #5 and thought to yourself “What on earth is that person doing with their signals?!” Regardless, now you can say for sure that the next time you enter a roundabout, any honk that you may hear will certainly not be aimed towards you.  Or, if it is, it must be because the driver inside that vehicle has clearly not read this posting of Road Rules!

Road Rules by Cedric Hughes and Dominique McCrimmon