Roundabouts are becoming increasingly popular throughout Texas. They are commonly seen at intersections to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted traffic flow. Although they may seem intimidating at first, they are quite simple to navigate through once you get the hang of them. In this informative post, we provide step-by-step instructions on driving safely through a roundabout in Texas. So buckle up, and let’s get started!
Step 1: Slow Down and Yield
As you approach a roundabout, your first instinct may be to panic and slam on your brakes, but that would be a mistake. Instead, slow down and remember to yield to traffic in all roundabout lanes, not just the lane closest to you. Look left and wait for a safe gap in traffic before proceeding. You can safely enter the roundabout if no traffic is approaching from the left.
Step 2: Stay in Your Lane
While navigating a multi-lane roundabout, stay in your lane. Do not try to change lanes while in the circle. Like most other intersections, drivers use the left lane to go left, the right lane to go right, and either lane to go straight through unless otherwise indicated. Follow the pavement markings to stay in the correct lane as you leave the roundabout.
Step 3: Keep a Safe Speed
It is essential to keep a safe speed while driving in a roundabout. The speed limit within the circle is usually around 20-25 mph. This speed allows you to take the curves and turns safely. Driving too fast can cause you to lose control of your vehicle or cause an accident.
Step 4: Use Your Turn Signals
Using your turn signals is crucial when navigating a roundabout. Always signal your intent to enter and exit the roundabout.
–When turning right (first exit), signal right as you enter and quickly exit
–When going straight ahead, there is no signal upon entering; signal as you approach your exit.
–When turning left (last exit/three-quarters around), signal left upon entering, and switch to signal right as you come to your exit.
Step 5: Yield to Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Pedestrians and bicyclists have the right-of-way when crossing a roundabout. Be sure to yield to them while entering and exiting the roundabout. Always watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially if they are in your blind spot.
Bonus Tip: When driving in a roundabout, it is important to give trucks and other large vehicles enough space. Due to the continuous turning nature of roundabouts, larger vehicles like semis and buses may find it more challenging to navigate. To ensure everyone’s safety, avoid driving closely next to them and maintain a safe distance.
Roundabouts may appear daunting at first, but with these step-by-step instructions, you should be able to navigate them safely and effectively. Remember to approach cautiously, yield to traffic already in the circle, stay in your lane, keep a safe speed, signal your intent, and always yield to pedestrians and bicyclists. By following these guidelines, you can confidently and safely navigate roundabouts in Texas. Happy driving!