Roundabouts, also known as traffic circles, are increasingly becoming more popular due to the benefits that they provide. A roundabout is a circular intersection where vehicles yield at entry to traffic already within the circulatory roadway. All vehicles flow in a counter-clockwise direction around a central island.
Since roundabouts only move in one direction, they virtually eliminate head-on and high-speed collisions. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), conventional intersections have 32 conflict points (places where incidents could happen), roundabouts cut that number by 75% to just 8!
If you’re unfamiliar with using roundabouts, the following tips will help you navigate them smoothly:
- As you approach a roundabout, be sure to reduce your speed to 10-15 mph.
- Be aware of bicyclists and pedestrians; and look left for oncoming traffic.
- When entering a roundabout, pay attention to upcoming signage for which lane to use.
- Always remember to yield to vehicles already in the roundabout and check for a safe gap in traffic before entering the roundabout.
- Once you’re inside the roundabout, continue on your way at a safe speed, do not pass other vehicles, and do not stop in the roundabout unless it is for a pedestrian.
- Make sure you use your turn signal to exit the roundabout to the right.
Special thanks to Coral Gables Police Department for their input.