More than a dozen roundabouts have cropped up in Kansas City intersections over the last few years, and drivers are slowly becoming accustomed to this new type of traffic stop. But if you’ve never seen one before, odds are may be confused about where to be, when to go, and when to stop—making it likely that you will be the one at fault when an accident occurs.
What Is a Roundabout?
Roundabouts are circular intersections that redirect traffic from many lanes by forcing all drivers in one direction around a central circular island. They are used instead of stop signs or traffic signals, and are a way to make traffic run more smoothly where many roads intersect. They may have one lane or many lanes, but all roundabouts require drivers to yield to the traffic in the circle before entering and then continue around the loop to the appropriate exit.
The Right Way to Drive Around a Roundabout
Once you know how a roundabout works, it’s much easier to take your turn and make your way around the circle without difficulty. Here are a few simple steps that can make your trip around the roundabout run smoothly:
- Slow down as you approach the entrance to the roundabout.
- Choose your lane based on which exit you’re taking (signs are usually posted at the right of the entrance).
- Wait for traffic already in the roundabout to clear.
- Merge into the roundabout when you have enough space to do so safely.
- Do NOT stop while going around the roundabout.
- Keep your speed at 20 mph or less.
- Avoid driving next to trucks or other oversized vehicles.
- Stay in your lane while exiting. If you need to change lanes, wait until traffic is clear.
- If you miss your exit, travel around the circle again—do NOT stop.
Does someone you know avoid roundabouts because they’re not 100 percent sure how to use them? Be sure to send your friends and family a link to this article via email or on Facebook. The only way to avoid causing a crash is to be sure you’re following the law!