roundabout etiquette


This one is about roundabouts. Because I am now dealing with one. Ok. I am not dealing with the roundabout … its the drivers.

First. Roundabouts.

zagreb roundabout

A roundabout is British word for a road junction in which traffic moves in one direction around a central island. The word dates from the early 20th century.

In the U.S., many people use the terms “roundabout”, “traffic circle”, and “rotary” interchangeably.

The term “traffic circle” is not used in the United Kingdom, where most circular junctions meet the U.S. technical criteria for roundabouts. The U.K. does, however, have roundabout variants such as mini-roundabouts and magic-roundabouts (I have no clue what makes a magic roundabout but I wanted to type the name).

Second. Roundabout etiquette.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Why am I writing about this?

Well.  Because they built a frickin’ roundabout near where I live and no drivers in the area appear to know how to use it (I was going to type that in all caps to show I shouted it).

First. People stop before entering the roundabout. Yes. Stop. WTF. No stop sign. No one has to look both ways. No one IN the frickin’ circle. Stop. It is killing me.

Second. The next issue that seems to baffle people is right of way. If one more driver IN THE ROUNDABOUT stops and waves someone to enter the roundabout (also stopping everyone behind them in the roundabout) I am gonna shoot someone.

And it gets a little worse if there are pedestrian walkways (where – hint – pedestrians in a walk way ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY.

This is a pretty simple driving maneuver.

From the US govt. traffic website:

dutch roundabout

There are a few key things to remember about driving roundabouts:

* Yield to drivers in the roundabout

* Stay in your lane; do not change lanes

* Do not stop in the roundabout

* Avoid driving next to oversize vehicles

Look.  I like the roundabout.

Roundabouts are claimed to be safer than both traffic circles and traditional junctions—having 40% fewer vehicle collisions, 80% fewer injuries and 90% fewer serious injuries and fatalities (according to research of a sampling of roundabouts in the United States, when compared with the junctions they replaced). Roundabouts also reduce points of conflict between pedestrians and motor vehicles and are therefore considered to be safer for them.

And I buy all that data. It does seem safer (although I did just see some college student unsuccessfully navigate the roundabout this weekend and run over the curb exiting it and drive up onto the sidewalk … geez).


Quick note. It seems that roundabouts, especially larger ones with faster traffic, are unpopular with some cyclists.


Maybe that is a reason to not have round-a-bouts.  Ok.  Maybe not.

Regardless. People. use some common sense.  And maybe become slightly familiar with what traffic signs mean (a yield means yield to traffic but don’t stop if no one is there).  And maybe don’t stop before entering a round-a-bout (if no one is even in the frickin’ round-a-bout).

Ok.  All of this is making me dizzy (its the going around and around the round-a-bout).

Who would have thought driving could be this challenging?

Who cares?

Written by Bruce