According to the U.S. Department of Transportation: Federal Highway Administration, roundabouts are safer than other intersections. They have more than a 90 percent reduction in fatalities, 76 percent reduction in injuries, and a 35 percent reduction in all crashes. Despite these statistics, some people are a intimidated by roundabouts, mostly because they are unsure how to safely use them. Although Indianapolis does not have nearly as many roundabouts as our neighbor to the north, Carmel, as Indianapolis car accident lawyers, we know how important it is to know how to navigate a roundabout. Here are some tips to help you safely use a roundabout:
- Always travel in a counterclockwise direction.
- Cars within the roundabout have the right-of-way. When coming upon a roundabout, look to your left and yield to vehicles already within the roundabout. Only enter the circle once there is a safe break in traffic.
- Even if you do not have to stop to enter the roundabout, make sure you slow down, driving the posted speed limit.
- If you are already in the roundabout, do not stop in the middle. Because roundabouts are based upon the principle of a continuous flow of traffic, stopping could cause a wreck with the vehicle behind you.
- If an emergency vehicle is in the roundabout or is coming upon it, wait for the emergency vehicle to get through the before you enter. If you are already in the roundabout, do not stop. Instead, exit the roundabout, and then pull over.
- Give oversized vehicles room to navigate the roundabout. In a multi-lane roundabout, this means not driving next to the larger vehicle.
- If it is a multi-lane roundabout, make sure you enter in the correct lane. Even if you are in the wrong, lane, do not switch lanes while in the roundabout.
- In a multi-lane roundabout, generally the right lane is for right turns or going straight. The left lane is for going straight, going left, or doing a U-turn. Do not try to make a turn which will cause you to cross into the other lane. Pay attention to posted signs if you are unsure what lane you want.