Adopted from our European counterparts, across the pond, roundabouts are appearing all over the United States to help moderate traffic. They are beneficial, not only because they help drivers slow down, they also eliminate the instillation of traffic signals, reduce emissions and save energy.
Over the past 5 years, drivers in Castle Rock are seeing more of these modern looping junctions being incorporated into our roadways. However if you are unfamiliar with how they operate, you can impede the flow and could cause an accident. “When people are unfamiliar with how to drive in the roundabout, they hesitate. Their reluctance hurts capacity and can cause an impact,” says Ryan Germeroth, Transportation Manager for Castle Rock.
In order to put an end to confusion about who has the right of way, we put together a short-list of tips to help remind our neighbors about rules of the aesthetic traffic treatment.
Tip #1: As you are approaching the roundabout, adhere to signs to reduce your speed.
Slowing down will give you time to recognize whether there are pedestrians or bicyclists in the crosswalks before entering the roundabout.
Tip#2: Look to the left to see if there are other cars about to cross your entry in the roundabout.
Wait for the car to move to your right before entering into the circle.
Tip #3: Use your turn signal if you are making a left or right turn to leave the circle.
Letting other cars know where you are exiting helps to reduce incidents of collisions because other vehicles know what to expect.
Tip#4: Remember that cars that are already in the circle have the right of way.
Don’t cut them off and cause them to slam on their brakes, most likely causing a collision.
Tip #5: Do not slam on your brakes or hesitate.
Remember, reluctance hurts the flow of cars and the capacity of the roundabout. This could also lead to having someone rear-end your vehicle.
And when used properly, roundabouts not only improve road safety, they also have many ‘green’ benefits. “Not only do they reduce the severity of crashes because they change the angle of the impact, they also help to reduce vehicle delay, reducing car emissions,” states Germeroth. Cars are kept moving, rather than sitting at a stop sign or traffic signal, puffing chemicals into the air.
So hopefully our reminder will help make your next experience with one of the Town’s roundabouts less intimidating. After all, knowing the rules of the road makes driving a little safer for everyone.