How to Drive In A Roundabout
Roundabouts are becoming more and more popular as road improvements are made, due to the fact they are safer than stoplights. Drivers run stoplights while they must slow down in roundabouts.
The problem with roundabouts is that many people have never used them and aren’t exactly sure how they work. The idea of merging into traffic, picking a lane and exiting becomes intimidating. When drivers are intimidated they often panic and move in the wrong direction or make bad decisions.
In Sedona, we have a number of roundabouts, especially if you enter town from I-17 from Hwy 269. The primary roundabout is at what the locals call the ‘Y’, whereupon you can go right and enter into uptown Sedona and on to Oak Creek Canyon and Flagstaff - or you can go left and pass through an empty space before entering Sedona proper – or West Sedona. West Sedona is where you will find grocery shopping, businesses, hotels, Starbucks and more trails.
Wondering about how to use a roundabout properly before visiting Sedona? It’s quite simple as the roundabouts in Sedona are small, two lanes maximum. Here are a few tips.
Roundabout Driving Tips
1. When approaching and traveling through a roundabout slow down and observe the lane signs, so that you know which lane to choose and from which to enter.
2. Come to a pause before entering a roundabout and wait for a gap in traffic before entering. Keep looking left when entering. Look right when you are choosing your exit. Remember, the driver in the roundabout always has the right of way.
3. Do not pass other vehicles in the roundabout, this is the primary cause of accidents.
4. Give larger vehicles plenty of space as they may take up more than one lane navigating the small circle.
5. Watch for pedestrians as there are cross-walks in roundabouts. In the frenzy of trying to figure out where you are going, you also must be aware of walkers.
6. If you are turning right, enter from the right lane and travel in the outer lane. Exit from this right lane and use your signal.
7. If you are going straight, as in the case with the roundabouts in the Village of Oak Creek, you do not need to signal, just select the appropriate lane, yield to the traffic already in the roundabout, enter and continue forward to exit.
8. Turning left in a roundabout, you will approach from the left-hand lane and wait for a gap before entering. Stay in your lane unless the stripe isn’t solid and it’s safe to switch lanes.
9. If you chose the wrong lane, go around in another circle and then switch lanes when the dividing line is dotted. At the dashed yield line, look to your left and yield to drivers already in the roundabout. Remember, in a multi-lane roundabout, you must yield to both lanes of traffic.
10. Lastly, don't block the crosswalk. Roundabouts can get jammed up, especially as you approach Uptown Sedona. Be cautious about stopping your car in a crosswalk and leave room for pedestrians.
Don’t be intimidated when it comes to the use of roundabouts. Know they are safe and to just take it slow. It won’t take long for you to get the hang of them – we promise.
About: DEBnAIR Real Estate is located in Sedona, Arizona. Debb Carl and Airen Sapp are Premier Agents with Zillow and Trulia on Zillow Real Estate