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    10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Roundabouts

    Roundabouts – they’re not just for Europeans anymore! Communities across the U.S. are turning to roundabouts to improve safety and congestion at formerly signalized and four-way stop intersections. Why? The rate of fatality and serious injury accidents drops by 90% at roundabouts. Another benefit - motorists often get through roundabouts quickly and more efficiently than traditional intersections. The average driver uses 30% less fuel and emits 32% less carbon dioxide at a roundabout. Roundabouts are a win on safety, efficiency and the environment, but they are relatively new and many drivers never received proper roundabout driver’s education. Here are ten facts we bet you didn’t know about roundabouts and how to properly navigate them.

    1. France is home to half the world’s roundabouts (~32,000).


    The United Kingdom comes in second with approximately 25,000 roundabouts. The United States has less than 4,000 roundabouts.

    2. “Hey look kids, there’s Big Ben!”

    Warner Home Video / Via

    In the movie European Vacation, the Griswold family was filmed circulating the Lambert Bridge roundabout, located one mile from Big Ben and Parliament.

    3. Vegas is home U.S.’s first modern-day roundabout.


    The U.S.’s first modern-day roundabout was built in 1990 in Summerlin, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas.

    4. Michigan has 117 roundabouts.


    Washtenaw County is home to 20% (24) of those roundabouts.

    5. Carmel, Indiana is the roundabout capital of the U.S.


    They have 104 roundabouts with plans to build 30 more in the next two years.

    6. Not all “circles” are created equal.


    Many urban traffic circles, like Manhattan’s Columbus Circle and Washington D.C.’s Dupont Circle, are not the same as modern day roundabouts. Traffic circles often have traffic lights or stop signs within the circular intersection while modern roundabouts do not.

    7. Yield is your Shield.


    While far safer than traditional intersections, “failure to yield” is the #1 type of crash at roundabouts. The good news? These crashes are largely preventable. When approaching a roundabout you should slow down, yield and wait for a safe gap in all lanes of circulating traffic before entering. Motorists circulating inside the roundabout always have the right of way!

    8. Pick your lane!


    Multilane roundabouts are easy to navigate when you pick your lane before you enter. Roundabouts are no different than traditional intersections. Get in the left lane to turn left. Get in the right lane to turn right. Unless otherwise noted, both lanes will allow you to drive straight through a roundabout.

    9. Don’t switch lanes in a roundabout.

    Volkswagen MX / Via

    Much like you wouldn’t switch lanes while inside an intersection, you should not switch lanes inside a roundabout. As you approach a roundabout, pay attention to signs and the arrows painted on the road, both will tell you which lane to pick to arrive at your destination.

    10. Avoid passing large trucks in multilane roundabouts.


    Large vehicles may need to use both circulating lanes to travel through the roundabout. If you attempt to pass a large truck it could result in a sideswipe collision.

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