We get it... and we feel your pain. Roundabouts are downright confusing and intimidating if you've never driven through one. But that said, there are many reasons why they're becoming such a trend in Newfoundland.... for one, they're downright safer.
Seriously, and you may not see it now with stories of drivers reversing in roundabouts or going in the completely wrong direction, but down the road, you'll realize why the United Kingdom is just filled with them.
It's been proven that roundabouts reduce total crashes by 38%, injury crashes by 76% and fatal crashes by 90% compared to traditional intersections. In my mind, I'm sold and you can flick the traditional intersection to the curb. But if you aren't sold yet, here are a few more great reasons;
- They can handle more cars per hour than a light-controlled intersection. Say Good-bye to traffic jams!
- They work even when the power goes out. Nice feature if #DarkNL 2.0 happens.
Now, you may be asking yourself, "if roundabouts are so great, why can't we figure them out?" Like with anything new, it take time, a little bit of learning and practicing to get get the hang of it.
To start, if you need a crash course with how to drive through a roundabout, the City of St.John's has the tools to make you into a pro. Instead, let's go over some of the biggest mistakes we've seen Newfoundlanders make when driving through a roundabout, beginning with changing lanes...
1 ) Don't Ever Change Lanes
Consider it the biggest no-no when it comes to driving through a roundabout. Whatever you do, don't ever change lanes when you're in a roundabout! It may be tempting or you may not even realize that you changed lanes, just be extra cautious, and keep your eyes on the lines.
Would you change lanes in the middle of the intersection now? No, so same rules apply to a roundabout.
2 ) Forgetting To Yield
Rule of thumb when it comes to who has the right-of-way in a roundabout is the driver already in the roundabout has the right-of-way. You must yield to both lanes of traffic. Once a gap appears, you can merge into the roundabout and drive to your exit.
3 ) Using The Wrong Lane
It's a classic mistake that many drivers around the world make. If you need to make a left turn, stay in the left lane (just like how it's done at a typical intersection or below). Rule of thumb here is the left lane is for exiting either straight, left, or making a U-turn. The right lane is for exiting either right or going straight through.
Practice, Practice, Practice
At the end of the day, all it takes is a little bit of practice and patients before you get the hang of it. And in no time you'll be wishing for more roundabouts throughout the island!
Until Next Time on The Wedgwood Life Series
- April Gladney