If you live in Colorado with our growing number of roundabouts or “traffic circles”, you are probably astounded at the number of drivers who simply do not know how to use them.
For instance, you see a car come to a complete stop when entering a roundabout when the lack of traffic in the roundabout would have allowed them to proceed straight through. Or how about this one, you are following someone in the roundabout, both of you in the flow of traffic and the person in front of you randomly yields/stops to someone trying to come into the traffic circle. Gyahh! Super frustrating, right? (Message: if this is you, “Why are you doing this? You have the RIGHT OF WAY!”)
Regardless, if you are a roundabout pro or a newbie, roundabouts are here to stay in Colorado. Why? Because they are way safer and vastly more efficient than traffic circles.
Did you know that roundabouts reduce the number of severe crashes that occur at the traditional traffic light intersection by 80%??
More of a walker and not a driver? Well, roundabouts help you-pedestrians out, too, by reducing the number of accident-related pedestrian injuries by 89%.
In certain tourist heavy towns, like Vail, roundabouts are now the default solution to all public works projects contemplating an intersection. Since their first roundabout construction project in 1995, roundabouts have exploded not only in Vail, but along the I-70 corridor in Frisco, Avon, Edwards, Eagle, Glenwood Springs—all the way to Grand Junction.
“Okay,” you say, “I can see that roundabouts are here for good, but I still don’t understand how to drive them.” Well, never fear because we have a few quick tips:
- When approaching a roundabout, slow down and look left for an opening in the roundabout traffic. *Remember, those vehicles in the roundabout have the right of way.
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians who often have their own crosswalk across the various points of entry to the roundabout. *Remember, they, too, have right of way.
- Once you see an appropriate opening in the roundabout traffic, move in to the roundabout at the traffic pace, but be ready, as you do this, to yield to existing traffic inside the roundabout.
- And finally, if you are in the roundabout, please do remember…YOU HAVE RIGHT OF WAY. So please, don’t yield to incoming traffic or you may earn an angry honk from a local.
Stay safe out there!
From everyone at Sears & Associates, P.C.