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Sound Off

Sound Off: Roundabouts

If two cars arrive at a roundabout at the same time, who has the right of way? If a car is already proceeding through the roundabout, do they always have the right of way?

Roundabouts are circular intersections that allow traffic to move in a counterclockwise fashion only (as opposed to smaller traffic calming circles). Each roundabout is signed with “yield” signs indicating those entering the roundabout are required to yield to vehicles already within the roundabout that are close enough to pose an immediate hazard.

Comments

windjammer 1 year, 8 months ago

Sound Off only answered one of your two questions. In your drivers handbook and on your drivers test is that same question. Two cars arrive at intersection at the same time the car to your right has the right of way. The person answering your question probably didn't know the answer is why you didn't get a answer. If you ask ten drivers that question only about half will know the answer. How do I know that? Drive around Lawrence and you will find they not only don't know that law they know very few of them by the way they drive.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 8 months ago

There are actually fewer accidents in roundabouts than in 4 way stops. Read the studies. It also saves gasoline, time, and relieves traffic snarls. The only problem that some of Lawrence's circles have are they have been made too small.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

I think you're right about some of the roundabouts being a bit too small. I think the problem was that the city was not able to acquire enough real estate to construct them properly. That's the basis of a lot of the complaints, I think.

One was constructed near where I live that's pretty small, and it sure did relieve a major traffic headache. And it was relieved even more when everyone around learned to use it, and started driving through it without even slowing down, as long as no pedestrians were around. But - we sure do twist our steering wheels really fast doing it!

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tomatogrower 1 year, 8 months ago

2 cars reaching the roundabout at the same time and going the speed limit should both be able to enter the roundabout at the same time and move around the circle. It's almost like a little dance.

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msezdsit 1 year, 8 months ago

OK jammer, heres one for you. Who has the right away at a 4 way stop sign when there isn't a tie?

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funkdog1 1 year, 8 months ago

It's ALWAYS the car that arrives first. Doesn't matter if it's turning or going straight.

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msezdsit 1 year, 8 months ago

OK funk, you saved a lot of people failing the IQ test by giving the answer away. The common mistake is that the mentally challenged driver will say (and do) it is the person to the right. That, however is only in the case of a tie. It is a very simple answer: first come first serve.

Now, when you throw in a roundabout, these same mentally challenged drivers are at a complete loss and they become the biggest problem concerning a roundabout.

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gatekeeper 1 year, 8 months ago

The car to the right doesn't have the right of way in a roundabout. Since traffice goes counter clockwise, you yield to any traffic approaching from the left.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

Probably not ignorant, more likely uneducated. There's a very big difference.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 8 months ago

Actually the definition of ignorant is unaware, which means they don't know how to drive in the circle. Stupid is careless driving when you know full well how to drive in the circle.

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msezdsit 1 year, 8 months ago

I know people who aren't even old that stop at every roundabout before entering. They think they are just playing it safe. They are really just playing it stupid.

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juma 1 year, 8 months ago

Agree that very very few drivers in Lawrence know anything about these damn roundabouts. It is as Wind said; the car to the right has the right of way. The same as at all intersections that are open or with 4way stop signs. I for one cut-off more drivers that are to my left and speed into the roundabout. I say level the roundabouts.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

So it's OK for a poster to admit to driving in an illegal and hostile manner, but not to call them on it.

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funkdog1 1 year, 8 months ago

Wrong. As other posters have said, it doesn't matter how many people arrive at the roundabout at the same time. If everyone is driving reasonably, everyone can enter at the same time.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

I like the fact that roundabouts prevent deaths and injuries. In fact, deaths and serious injuries are virtually unheard of at roundabouts, but unfortunately they are very common at intersections controlled by stop signs and traffic signals. But it is true that drivers need to learn how to use roundabouts, that is still a bit of a problem even though they are not new. The first one was built in 1909 in the UK.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 8 months ago

I think that's true for many other things besides intersections. For instance, that street that no one dares walk on alone because it's "too dangerous" never has anyone walking alone on it, therefore nothing happens on it.

Actually, that is not original with me. I think I read an except from that same book. What I remember was a study done in Sweden, I think it was, about roads that were perceived to be dangerous. They had a certain accident rate. Then, major safety improvements were made - and the accident rate went up!

The conclusion of that study was that since the road appeared to be safer, the drivers were now driving faster and taking more risks. Thus, the safety improvements that had been made had not made the road safer at all.

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windjammer 1 year, 8 months ago

Kind of like old 10 which was supposed to be the most dangerous in the state. We built a new super highway 10 and now look at that killer highway.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 8 months ago

It is a misbegotten book. I don't believe that anyone, including the author, has understood it. It is simply a status symbol, you bring it up because it makes you superior to the poor sap who hasn't read it.

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bearded_gnome 1 year, 8 months ago

... and roundies continue to be unsafe for pedestrians because there's no turn for them! also, visibility doesn't often favor their safety, given wher merging drivers are looking.

sure, you can site research, but often that uses models and models are only as good as their assumptions.

pedestrians are endangered by roundabouts.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

Pedestrians are endangered by inattentive drivers, period.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

Beard, you have a real point: if you're on foot, a roundabout needs to be treated the same as trying to jaywalk: just wait for the car to pass because you can't expect the driver to see you. I have a friend who is blind, though, and since he can't see a car to wait for it, roundabouts are very problematic indeed. The visually impaired groups I know are really, really concerned about whether roundabouts can ever be made safe. The best attempts I've seen move the sidewalk crossing "downstream" a bit from the roundabout, have bright pedestrian signs and well marked crosswalk, but you're still dependent on an alert driver who is in the process of accelerating, having just come out of the roundabout and may not be paying attention. Don't know if pedestrian activated bright flashing lights would help, but maybe it would be a useful addition on routes where known visually impaired folks have to routinely cross the street.

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msezdsit 1 year, 8 months ago

Who has the right away at a four way stop? This is very complicated for a lot of people. Now, throw in a roundabout and these people are lost forever. Its kinda like an IQ test for driving. If you fail you shouldn't be able to drive. This would be a great safety net for our streets and highways.

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Rae Hudspeth 1 year, 8 months ago

The phrase you are looking for is "right OF way" and the answer is in the question. It's problematic because uneducated drivers seem to want to let the vehicle approaching on the left go first.

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woodscolt 1 year, 8 months ago

rae rae, funk got this right in his post above and in this case right is wrong. the first person to stop has the right away.

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Rae Hudspeth 1 year, 8 months ago

Ah, sorry, I thought s/he was still asking about two arriving at the same time.
But for record, the correct term is still "right OF way" not right away. Check your drivers handbook.

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woodscolt 1 year, 8 months ago

right: right "of" way. I was quoting the original post by msez

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mom_of_three 1 year, 8 months ago

If a car is in the roundabout, he doesn't have to stop to let the car in. Simple. The car waiting to enter should enter when it is safe for him to do so.
If there are cars who get to the roundabout at the same time on all four spots, if they all proceed at the same time, they should be fine, assuming one isn't going 50 mph.
traffic keeps moving, and everyone is fine.

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coolmarv 1 year, 8 months ago

The answer to the first question is..."if my wife is anywhere near the roundabout then she has the right away".

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coolmarv 1 year, 8 months ago

though if I am waitng because of the right of way for a car on my left don't think I'm going to let the next 6 cars behind that one to also go on through. Those behind the car I am yielding to need to yield to me. I will always yield to prevent an accident though no matter others poor judgement.

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gatekeeper 1 year, 8 months ago

No, that's not how it works. You are to yield at a roundabout. You as an approaching motorist MUST yield to the traffic coming from the left and only enter when there is a gap or break in the traffice. Merge means that each vehicle takes a turn.

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gatekeeper 1 year, 8 months ago

My mom always said in KS most people get their driver's license from a box of Cracker Jacks. Never understood how people don't learn the basic rules of the road and get a license.

At a roundabout, you yield to the traffic on the left.

Yield means the approaching motorist has to wait for a gap/break in traffice before entering (like our roundabouts). Merge means each vehicle takes a turn.

This state needs to take the driving exam and written test a lot more seriously and make sure people know how to drive and the rules of the road BEFORE giving them a license. Everyone should know what to do at a roundabout and shouldn't pass the exam if they don't. I'm a commuter and am constantly amazed at the idiot drivers I see every day. I am very thankful my grandfather was a truck driver and we were all taught at young ages how to drive and the rules of the road.

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woodscolt 1 year, 8 months ago

I agee gate however I think it is short sighted to limit your comments to the state of kansas. I find these problems every where I drive and I drive in many states. Now if you want to say Kansas should be educated enough to not elect monkeys to its legislature and the governors office, I would say you would be correct in singling out kansas.

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pace 1 year, 8 months ago

19th and Barker should be policed. 9 out 10 cars on 19 th fail to yield .

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gccs14r 1 year, 8 months ago

If that's your impression of what's going on at that intersection, maybe the problem is you. I don't go through there at rush hour, but I do go through there several times a week and seldom see a problem. When there is a problem, it's usually because someone stops at the Yield sign when no one is in the circle.

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gatekeeper 1 year, 8 months ago

I go through there every day during rush hour and there are a lot of idiots that don't understand the round about. Yield to the left people! If I didn't pay attn, I would have been hit many times there. Morons think they just approach the roundabout and jump in, not paying any attn to the vehicles to their left that have the right of way.

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pace 1 year, 8 months ago

No,just pay attention. You are probably one of the ones driving on 19th. Oblivious to the other cars and ignorant that you have a yield sign.

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woodscolt 1 year, 8 months ago

I think your original comment above might be a bit of an exaggeration but I drive through there a lot and it is about a toss up between people who think you should just stop at a yield sign and think about it for a while before and half the people just blast through no matter what. After dealing with these idiots it seems they are 9 out of 10 of the drivers. Most of the roundy's in lawrence are really disadvantaged by being to small for them to work smoothly. Although, I can't imagine what the 9 of 10 would do with more traffic at a roundy. I think they would short out.

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Water 1 year, 8 months ago

As a kid, I had a couple of slot car tracks. My favorite layout included an intersection. I'm thinkin' playing with slot cars on a track with an intersection and a roundabout would be fun! Of course the Lola would destroy the '57 Nomad on a track with a roundabout.

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