How to use a Roundabout

Learn how to use a roundabout – Here in Grand Junction, Colorado we have roundabouts. Roundabouts have been proven to prevent accidents with both cars and pedestrians better than four-way stops.  We particularly like this graphic from an episode of Mythbusters for showing just that:

According to this article by the Coloradoan, “Roundabouts have only eight possible “vehicle conflict points,” which is engineer-speak for places cars could crash into one another. A normal intersection has more than 30, and that includes dangerous head-on collisions and T-bone crashes. Plus, as Fort Collins traffic engineer Martina Wilkinson pointed out, cars in roundabouts are usually moving slower than folks blazing down Harmony Road at 50 mph.”

So how do you properly use a roundabout? In a few words, you slow down as you approach the entrance to the roundabout. Yield to traffic already in the circle, and enter when there is room. If you’ve entered and plan to immediately exit, stay in the right lane (if there’s more than one lane). If you’ll be going further around, move to the inside lanes.

Use your turn signal to indicate you’re exiting the roundabout. This lets others attempting to enter know they have room to do so.  Make sure to watch for pedestrians in the roundabout and do not pass cyclists. They’ll be traveling at about the same speed as you and are entitled to use the whole lane.  Finally, do not stop in the roundabout to let traffic in. This is not how the roundabout works and you’re more likely to cause an accident by doing this.

We also found this handy video that demonstrates how to properly enter and exit a roundabout:

We hope these tips on roundabouts help you feel more confident when driving in cities where roundabouts are prevalent. For more driving tips make sure to visit our blog page here.  For tips on healing after accident-related injuries, click here.