We’ll be the first to admit that using a roundabout can be confusing. Here are do’s and don’ts for proper roundabout etiquette that will have you driving like a pro.
1. Be slow on your approach.
If the roundabout is empty, you don’t have to stop before entering and can coast right in. However, you always want to slow down and double-check. It’s nice not to be forced to stop the way you would have to with a red light or a stop sign, but you should still be slow on your approach to ensure that you and anybody else on the road stay safe.
2. The person in the roundabout has the right of way.
One of the most important things to remember is that the vehicle already in the roundabout has the right of way. And, just as you would if you were turning, you need to wait until there is enough space to enter the roundabout — kind of like yielding.
3. Give way to the left.
At a 4-way stop, you give way to the right. But at a roundabout, if two or more vehicles approach simultaneously, you give way to the left. If you forget, think about the flow of traffic!
4. You shouldn’t stop in a roundabout.
Once you’re in the roundabout, you should continue towards your exit and not stop to let anybody ahead of you. Roundabouts aren’t the place to try and let someone get in front of you because it alters the traffic flow, and the roundabout gets backed up. And, odds are, the person you’re trying to let in will be very confused.
5. Maintain an appropriate speed.
Centripetal force acts on an object moving in a circular path and is directed towards the center of whatever is moving – in this case, your vehicle. Remember, you’re driving in a circle, and you’re going to feel the centripetal force. You won’t want to go too quickly around the roundabout, or it may feel like your vehicle is about to turn over.
If you have other questions about roundabouts or other traffic laws, contact Leslie at Craft Law Firm for your free consultation at 252-752-0297 or visit our website at craftlawoffice.com. We’ll help you ace the rules of the road.