How to Safely Navigate a Roundabout
By Grace Hancock
Roundabouts are common in Europe and other areas of the world, but they’ve just started catching on in the United States in recent years. If you’re unfamiliar with how to navigate a roundabout or simply need a refresher, here’s information on how to make your way around a roundabout.
How to Spot a Roundabout
Roundabouts are similar but different from traffic circles, also known as rotaries, and traffic calming circles. Whereas traffic circles have a large center island and are entered in a straight line; traffic calming circles have a small center island and are meant to replace four-way stops in residential neighborhoods. Compared to traffic circles and traffic calming circles, roundabouts are medium-sized, can be used at a variety of intersections, and can be entered on a gentle curve.
Driving Single-Lane VS Multi-Lane Roundabouts…
Driving through a multi-lane roundabout can be trickier than driving through a single-lane roundabout, but doing so is not impossible. Most two-lane roundabouts allow traffic in the right lane to turn right and go straight through the roundabout. Traffic in the left lane must go straight, turn left, or return in the direction it came from. Most multi-lane roundabouts will have lane use control signs that will help you choose the right lane to take.
When there’s Trucks or Oversized Vehicles Driving Through Roundabouts…
Large vehicles like semi-trucks and buses need more room to turn. Many roundabouts are designed with a raised section of concrete around the center island, known as a truck apron, for this very reason. If you are driving a regular-sized vehicle, you don’t need to use the truck apron to get your back wheels around the bend, so leave it open for those who do.
Driving Through a Roundabout: Key Things to Remember
- Slow down before approaching the roundabout. Once you have entered the roundabout, don’t stop, but rather keep at a slow and steady driving pace.
- Yield to both lanes , including vehicles and cyclists that may already be in the roundabout.
- Once you have chosen the path you want to take in the roundabout, stay in your lane; do not change lanes in a roundabout.
- There is no need to use a roundabout’s truck apron if you are not driving a truck or oversized vehicle. When sharing a roundabout with any truck or oversized vehicle, give them room to turn.
- Emergency vehicles have the right-of-way in roundabouts. Yield to any emergency vehicles displaying blue or red lights and sounding a siren when entering the roundabout even when you are already on it.
- If you have missed your exit while driving through a roundabout, simply circle around again to make the right exit.
The Benefit of Roundabouts
The Florida Department of Transportation (the FDOT) reports that the presence of roundabouts results in a 90 percent reduction in fatal car crashes and a 75 percent reduction in injuries resulting from car crashes. The most fatal type of car crash is the right angle crash; right-angle crashes are nearly impossible at roundabouts.
On top of providing safety benefits, roundabouts reduce noise, fuel consumption, and the amount of pollution that otherwise would be released into the environment from cars waiting at traffic signals. Roundabouts also save money because without traffic signals there are no costs for traffic signals or their maintenance.
Tampa Roundabout Car Accident Lawyer- Hancock Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in a car accident in the Tampa, Spring Hill, or Spring Hill area, contact us on our website, or call us directly at (813) 915-1110 for your free case consultation today. Our experienced attorneys will be able to navigate you through the complexities of the law. We help get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.