Negotiating Roundabouts

Happy 2012!

I hope everyone had a great start to the year. I’ve been a little delayed in posting as I had to readjust myself to the West Coast time difference.  9 hours to be exact. It takes me about a week. I have also been busy with new travel reservations.                              This morning I could not resist taking a picture of my neighbour’s house. Winter arrived Sunday. It snowed again last night and they announce more snow tomorrow. I love the white carpet against the green of the pine trees. It looks like a black and white photo.

Since my return from Brussels, I have driven a few times to meet with clients at my favorite restaurant La Provence.  On my route are two Roundabouts. I have noticed time and time again that people don’t know how to signal at the intersection.

Roundabouts are found in many European countries. In France alone there are hundreds of them. The most famous one is in Paris, around the Arch de Triomphe. The Parisians called it l’Etoile, for seen from the sky, the intersection resembles a Star.

Roundabouts are designed to make intersections safer and more efficient for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. There are two types of Roundabouts: single-lanes and double-lanes.

Here are the rules:

– Slow down as you approach the roundabout and watch for pedestrians in the cross walk.
– Continue toward the roundabout and look to your left as you near the yield sign at the entrance.                                                                                                                                               – Yield to the traffic already engaged in the Roundabout.                                                            – Once you see a gap in traffic, enter the circle and proceed to your exit. If there is no traffic in the roundabout, you may enter without yielding. 
– Do not switch your turning signal on as you Enter the roundabout (the driver behind you knows you are turning). Instead turn it on when you EXIT. This will inform the driver who is about enter that you are exiting. I see so many people doing the opposite.
– In a two-lane roundabout, to go straight or right, get in the right lane. To go straight or left, get in the left lane.

In Ireland, since people drive on the left side of the road, go clockwise at Roundabouts and give way to traffic coming from your right. Signal left when you are exiting.

Keep Safe.

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