With National Roundabouts Week beginning next week, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is educating the traveling public about the safety and benefits of roundabouts. Nationwide, roundabouts are becoming a more frequently used option to improve intersection safety, all while keeping traffic flowing.
What is a roundabout? Roundabouts are circular intersections that move counterclockwise around a center island and have no traffic signal. Traffic approaching the roundabout should yield to pedestrians and traffic already in the intersection. Vehicles inside the roundabout have the right of way.
Since roundabouts only move in one direction, they virtually eliminate head-on and high-speed collisions, including T-bone collisions. While conventional intersections have 32 conflict points (places where incidents could happen), roundabouts cut that number by 75% to just eight. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) states that roundabouts reduce the number of fatalities by up to 90% and result in an overall 76% reduction in injury crashes.
Currently, there are about 20 roundabouts on Florida’s highway system and more than 300 on local roads statewide. Learn more about modern roundabouts at fdot.tips/roundabout.
If you’re unfamiliar with using roundabouts, the following tips will help you navigate them smoothly:
- When entering a roundabout, pay attention to upcoming signage for which lane to use.
- Always remember to yield and check for a safe gap in traffic before joining the roundabout.
- Once you’re inside the roundabout, continue on your way at a safe speed and use your turn signal before you exit.
- Incoming traffic should yield to you once you are in the roundabout, but stay alert and use caution.
- Always look and yield to pedestrians and bicyclists in crosswalks.
- If you’re a pedestrian, use the designated crosswalks to travel through the roundabout.
- Bicyclists can choose to travel through the roundabout as a vehicle, or walk their bikes across using the crosswalks as a pedestrian.
More information about roundabouts is available online at fdot.tips/roundabout.
The Florida Department of Transportation urges motorists to stay alert, always pay attention, and follow the rules of the road while driving on the open road and at intersections, including roundabouts.