TRI-CITIES, Wash. –
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation website, contrary to common belief roundabouts improve traffic flow and allow people to get through an intersection faster by keeping a continuous flow of traffic.
It also says engineers look at accident history, intersection operation, and cost, before putting in a roundabout.
Which is why there’s probably a reason a roundabout is where it is and knowing how to navigate one safely is important.
Washington State Trooper Chris Thorson said there are two major reasons he hears from people after roundabout crashes:
“Number one is, I thought I had room to go into the roundabout and there was a car there all of the sudden you always have to yield the right of way before hand okay. And number two is I didn’t know I had to exit at this certain point”
He said knowing your route before hand can help you know which lane to be in for two lane roundabouts.
He also said making sure to wait for cars already in the roundabout to pass before entering can keep you out of a collision.
Using a turn signal to indicate when you plan to get off in the roundabout can help people trying to enter the roundabout know where you intend to go according to Thorson.
He also said you should always turn to the right when entering a roundabout.
“Don’t ever turn left cause that’s going to be driving the wrong way and some people do do that, in fact a couple of weekends ago in this exact same roundabout we had a driver under the influence drive the wrong way in a roundabout and drove wrong way on the highway which lead to a fatality collision,” he said.