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How to Keep Roundabouts from Making Your Head Spin

November 14, 2017
Carmel, Indiana is the roundabout capital of the United States with over 100 of these European-style traffic circles.
Roundabouts improve traffic flow, reduce accidents, and lower greenhouse gas emissions because cars idle for much shorter periods of time. Yet, they are often confusing to drivers who don’t encounter them very often.
Here are some tips on how to properly navigate these traffic circles:
Slow down and stay in your lane – Roundabouts are designed to reduce your speed as you approach intersections, while keeping traffic moving. Make sure to pay attention to the signs prior to the roundabout, showing you which lanes to be in if you are turning or going straight through the roundabout.
Yield to vehicles already in the roundabout – They have the right of way. If you have to stop, you won’t be stopped for long.
Obey one-way signs at all times – Not doing so endangers everybody.
When traffic is clear, merge to the right – Traffic flows around the circle in a counter clockwise motion. Stay in the traffic circle until you reach your exit point.
Avoid stopping in a roundabout – Roundabouts are designed to keep traffic moving.
Yield to pedestrians and bicycles – Do this at crosswalks that precede traffic circles, not ones following it. Remember, you should never stop in a roundabout.
When exiting, signal and exit to the right – You never make a left turn in a roundabout.
To make a left turn, go around the traffic circle – Circle around the center island approximately 270 degrees before turning right to exit.
Yield to semi-trucks – Even if you are already in the roundabout, yield to semi-trucks. It’s Indiana state law.
Trust us, once you get used to them, roundabouts can keep the traffic flowing. We ought to know. Our main office is located right next to several in Carmel.
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