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How do you drive in traffic circles?





deanhills
We have a LARGE number of traffic circles in the city where I live in the UAE. Some of them are HUGE with plenty of decorations on the inside island, like memorials, statues, or gardens and flowers.

Anyway, negotiating traffic circles here is an art, so I'm curious to know what others do in other countries. First of all some people speed up when they approach a traffic circle here and then speed around the circle as though the devil is behind them. There are quite a number of those and you can actually here their tires screeching as they navigate the circle. Then there are some who slow down as they approach the circle and then speed up when they are in the circle. And then there are others (me included) who slow down as they approach the circle, and then go with the flow when they are in the circle. The final and fourth group is a pain but there are not many of those and there is usually lots of honking when they are around. They are scared and pause like crazy before they enter the circle and then go at snails pace. They are almost more dangerous than the the ones with the devil on their tails.

Exiting a roundabout here is even more perplexing as there are different rules here. The person driving in the innermost lane gets first right of exit. I kid you not. So the person in the right most lane has to watch out what the one in the middle lane is doing and the one in the middle lane has to watch what the person in the innermost lane is doing as it is the innermost car that gets first right of exit. Many an expat has learned this the hard way!

Needless to say with the above scenario we have regular accidents every day. And since during working hours and evening hours some of these "round abouts" are super busy, a real head ache. Added to this you may VERY occasionally find police checking (staying inside their cars), but here's the thing, they then park their 4-wheeldrives in the outside lane inside the circle. Actually obstructing the flow!!!! And sometimes two locals will park inside the circle in the outside lane one in front of the other (happy to see one another), get out and greet and have a chat with one another! Quite hilarious and maybe sometimes also nice to see those scenes playing out as it is nice to have happy people as well.

So what is the trend in your country with using traffic circles?
Very Happy
standready
Only one town near me has one with one more in planning. I have used it a couple times without a problem. Just go round and round - laugh
crystalkey
We have a couple of them. Stay to the left while in the circle. When entering the circle, enter cautiously and watch for those speeding cars.

Some people also call them round-a-bouts. I guess there is a difference between the two but I have yet to find a difference between the two from a driving standpoint ...
ocalhoun
If I get to the other side without hitting other cars, I consider it a success.
Hello_World
Haha that sounds awful. We have them everywhere and we use them in a very orderly fashion.

Roundabouts with more than 2 lanes are very rare, they do exist and I avoid them like the plague lol.

Stop or slow at approach. Look to the right. If someone is coming, wait. If you can fit in, go. If you are turning left, use the left lane. If you are going straight or right, use the right lane. Which lanes you are allowed in are usually marked.

(Remembering that we drive on the left).

That's about it. I think I would freak out in UAE.

Roundabouts are the most efficient when there is medium flow traffic, more efficient than traffic lights. Except sometimes when all the traffic is coming from one direction, then they are annoying. But in high flow they are a nightmare, traffic lights are better.

In the middle there is usually grass or weeds. Sometimes butterfly flowers. Yours must all be those awful big ones.

Our suburb just loves them. They are everywhere. Some aren't even at an intersection, they are just there to slow down the traffic. They are also at intersections where a stop sign would do just fine. I don't really know what the planners were thinking.
ocalhoun
They put one in on the military base I used to be stationed at... I hated that thing.
(The fun part was that there was a hill next to it, so two of the incoming lanes couldn't see each other... So, you'd be about to pull into the (apparently empty) traffic circle, and somebody in the other incoming lane would also be pulling into the (apparently empty) traffic circle... often at high speed... So many times I barely avoided a wreck there.)

Hello_World wrote:

Our suburb just loves them. They are everywhere. Some aren't even at an intersection, they are just there to slow down the traffic. They are also at intersections where a stop sign would do just fine. I don't really know what the planners were thinking.


Oh, I can guess what they were thinking...
"Europe is great"
"Europe has lots of traffic circles"
"If we have traffic circles, we'll be great, too! Yay!"
Hello_World
lol. That'd make sense, except we copy everything US does these days.

Your roundabout sounds ridiculous.
ocalhoun
Hello_World wrote:

Your roundabout sounds ridiculous.

It is.
It used to be just a stop sign where one road met a bigger road...
But now, it's a traffic circle with only 3 entrances.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Hello_World wrote:

Your roundabout sounds ridiculous.

It is.
It used to be just a stop sign where one road met a bigger road...
But now, it's a traffic circle with only 3 entrances.
There were a number of those in the Johannesburg suburbs that overnight went from single lane four way stop to tiny single lane round abouts. So imagine people driving right over the middle hump particularly at night time when there is not much street lighting around. Sort of confusing and challenging when they change these. Very Happy
standready
ocalhoun wrote:

It used to be just a stop sign where one road met a bigger road...
But now, it's a traffic circle with only 3 entrances.

and NO exits! just keep going round and round until the wheels fall off! laugh
spinout
some years ago we had a change of laws regarding this. sweden it is...

Now you just blink when exit one. that means is you just go round in one you just drive with no blinking.
wellerchap
There's a very interesting one (we call them roundabouts in the UK) next to Swindon Town's football stadium...I rode on it once, on my scooter - it was mid-afternoon, so not busy - but imagine this in busy traffic....it's called locally "The Magic Roundabout" Shocked
deanhills
@ wellerchap. I think that is one spot where one definitely can't drive under the influence .... he he .... I see two traffic circles there. All of those lines are really confusing, and on a scooter as well. Hopefully there is not that much traffic there or is there?

Wait a minute ... I see a third circle in the distance. I guess they do that to catch out all the people who are not from your town .... just to make some extra cash in traffic tickets? Very Happy

No, maybe they're not circles, they're just warnings of the BIG circle, or are they as I now see five ..... helle'vu confusing Shocked
wellerchap
I knew of it before I went - so I read up on it so I knew what to do/expect - it wasn't too bad for me as I approached down the road top right and simply turned right onto the road going directly up (to the right of the footy ground)....it's anyone's guess how I'd have got on having to go straight over the blummin' thing!!
deanhills
wellerchap wrote:
I knew of it before I went - so I read up on it so I knew what to do/expect - it wasn't too bad for me as I approached down the road top right and simply turned right onto the road going directly up (to the right of the footy ground)....it's anyone's guess how I'd have got on having to go straight over the blummin' thing!!
Kudos to you. I'd have driven right through all of it. Or made a U-turn. Or if no U-turn possible keep left (since it's drive left country) hoping I can find an exit at the earliest opportunity. Very Happy
SonLight
Looking closer at it, apparently it's one BIG roundabout going counterclockwise, with small clockwise circles to mark the entrances and exits. Whether the outer five connecting roads count as part of the traffic circle I'm not sure -- I'd just count them as connecting roads.

I'd probably just drive from one road to the next using the outside connecting roads, and keep making U-turns as needed until I got to the road I wanted.
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