Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Town of Chapin is working to educate local drivers about the correct way to use a roundabout. They’re doing this because the one being constructed at Old Lexington Highway and Murray Lindler Road is almost complete and already in use.
According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s website, construction for the Murray Lindler project began back in 2016. This intersection improvement project should improve traffic flow and decrease traffic delays. Now that most of the project has been completed and the public is actively using the improved road, officials want to make sure we are all navigating the circle correctly.
If you follow the tips provided below, you should be able to breeze through the roundabout with ease and safely:
Slow down on approach. One of the advantages of a roundabout is that it does not stop traffic like a stop sign or a red light would. If a roundabout is empty, you do not have to stop before entering. However, you must exercise extra caution on approach. Make sure that it is completely safe before entering. Again, slow down when you are approaching a roundabout. If the way is clear, you can proceed.
Always give way to a vehicle or vehicles that are already on the roundabout. This is the first and most important rule of a roundabout. You have to give way to vehicles that are already navigating the circle. Just as you would when entering a regular road, you must wait until there is sufficient space to enter the roundabout safely.
Give way to vehicles on your left. When two or more vehicles approach a roundabout at the same time, you must then give way to the vehicle to the left. Otherwise it is first come, first served.
One of the most common mistakes that people use on roundabouts is signalling incorrectly, or not at all. When used properly, turn indicators can be an excellent way to increase safety and convenience on a roundabout. It lets those around you know of your intentions. A good rule of thumb is to always signal immediately before your exit, using your right indicator, just as you would when turning.
Correct indication on a roundabout goes as follows:
When turning right (first exit), signal right as with a normal right turn. When going straight ahead, use no signal upon entering but signal as you approach your exit. When turning left (last exit/three-quarters around), signal left upon entering, but switch to right as you come to your exit.
Just when you think that you’ve mastered the roundabout, along comes one with two lanes circling around it. Dealing with two lanes can be intimidating, but the reality is that it is not all that different from a regular, smaller roundabout. Often there will be a sign indicating which lane you should take, but if not, here are some guidelines:
If you are turning right (first exit), take the outside lane.
If you are going straight or the second exit, take the outside lane.
If you are taking a further exit, take the innermost lane and move over prior to your exit, after the first or second exit.
Finally, enjoy the drive. Roundabouts drastically reduce the amount of collisions at intersections and if you are confused about what exit to use, just go around again. Roundabouts are a gentleman’s way of navigating an intersection. If everyone would drive with some courtesy and give way when their supposed to, these are a breeze.