Everything You Need to Know About Roundabouts

Many states and communities are using roundabouts as safer, more efficient alternatives to intersections with stop signs or signals. A roundabout is a low-speed intersection in which traffic flows continuously around a circular central island. Studies show that roundabouts significantly reduce crashes and crash related injuries, as well as decrease traffic congestion. But they can be confusing to a novice. These tips will help you to more easily navigate your next roundabout.

Slow down
When approaching a roundabout, slow down and get your bearings. Know where you want to exit the roundabout before you enter. Watch for any warning signs and obey the posted speed limit. Roundabouts ease traffic congestion because drivers are not required to come to a complete stop. However, drivers entering the roundabout must yield the right of way to those already in the circle.

Choose your lane
Some roundabouts contain only a single lane, while busier ones may have two or more lanes. Look for signs or road markings indicating which lane you should be in. In a two-lane roundabout, use the right lane if you'll be exiting the roundabout to the right or continuing straight through. Use the left lane if you'll be exiting to the left, driving straight through, or making a U-turn. Take extra care when changing lanes in a roundabout.

Yield before entering
Traffic flows counterclockwise in a roundabout. So regardless of where you enter the intersection, traffic should be approaching from your left. Remember to yield the right of way and then enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap. If there is no approaching traffic, you are not required to stop before entering.

Keep moving
Once you're in the roundabout, stop only to avoid a collision and be sure to use your turn signals to let other drivers know when you're exiting to the right or left.

Take care
Keep an eye out for pedestrians and bicyclists navigating the intersection. And take greater care when approaching a roundabout in the winter. Accumulations of snow and ice make the center island harder to see and the circular path trickier to travel.

Information provided by State Farm Insurance.

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