Ok… I admit, I’m not the most amazing driver ever. The fact that my jeep resembles a huge blue golf ball confirms this. However, I follow the general rules and laws of the streets. Specifically, I can comprehend and abide by the governing principle of roundabouts. And, yes, it can be summed up in one principle – stay in your lane. If you do this, and avoid the obvious, like stopping in the middle of the damn thing, you will navigate the roundabout correctly. Now, what all does this one simple guiding rule imply:
1. If I am in the roundabout and you are in the right lane approaching it: If I stay in my lane, and you stay in yours then I can leave the roundabout at any time without worrying about hitting you.
2. If I am in the right lane and you are in the roundabout: I should be able to make my right turn regardless of what you are doing with out the risk of being broadsided by you, because you stay in the left (middle) lane.
3. If I am in the roundabout and you are in the left lane: If you have room to pull out in front of me, do it. If not, don’t. This works like any other time you are trying to enter moving traffic.
4. CATA busses are the root of all evil, since they do not seem to be capable of staying in one lane when entering or exiting a roundabout. If anyone has the motivation and willingness to bus bomb a few CATA busses you will be my personal hero for a week.
As usual, if everyone does it right, roundabouts are quite efficient and safe. It’s when you get that lone stupid person who disrupts the flow that all hell breaks loose. Other cases where this applies:
People going too slow on highways or freeways – slower is not better folks, you just became an obstacle for everyone else.
People getting into the left turn lane a quarter mile before their left turn – not what it’s for, someone coming the other way might actually want to use that lane the right way, but now your hurdling at them at full speed just asking to cause a wreck.
People who drive while entirely consumed with another activity, for some this can be as simple as talking on a phone – if you can’t multi-task well enough to talk on a phone and drive, then don’t, and if you do, you deserve to die in a fiery ball of twisted metal, just make sure you get in a wreck with a telephone pole or something inanimate.
People who drive when they’re not actually driving – guess what, you’re not giving valuable advice, your a distraction, shut up.
People who insist they know what you should have done if an accident does happen – guess what, looking back everyone can see what they should have done, would you have done it right the first? Odds are against it.
I swear someday I’m just going to hit someone in a roundabout. I’ll see them coming, realize they’re going to cross that nice double line and just keep going in my left lane. Hopefully taking out their front end. Like my jeep couldn’t handle a few more dents.
Speaking of white lines, if you need help with the concept of roundabouts, go look at the one on Shaw Lane and Bogue. The lines apply to all roundabouts, even if they’re not painted on. If you still don’t understand, take another look – preferably as a CATA bus comes through and squashes your head like a bug.