Two-thirds of drivers do not know how to drive through a roundabout, according to a report by the Ponle Freno-AXA Study Center. Although this research was conducted in 2016, the situation has not changed much throughout this time in light of the publications issued by the General Administration of Traffic (DGT) periodically on social networks, with reminders of the priority rules governing these infrastructures.
And it seems that the problem is not only in Spain. The evidence for this is the video that comes to us from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, specifically from the United States, where this type of intersection is not available as often as it is in Europe. The photos show the tremendous confusion drivers have to go through a roundabout – which appears to be still under construction – located in a rural Kentucky area.
Roundabouts are the infrastructures that generate the most confusion among drivers
The chaos made it possible to even see multiple vehicles in the wrong direction. In fact, when they reach the section containing the comma lane, they are not even able to position themselves on the right to properly reach the rotor. Once inside, the chaos continued.
The aerial registration posted on social networks shows half of the infrastructure is complete, which encourages us to assume that corresponding road signs still need to be placed to give appropriate indications to motorists. Another thing is that even with the appropriate signals, drivers do not know how to turn well through the rotor.
Regardless of the infrastructure design – there are mini vanes, turbogoritas, split vanes … – the regulations that govern them are the same. First of all, you must make room for the users inside it. If a group of cyclists are wandering around, you have to wait for the last of them to pass by, as they are considered a single entity.
Once in, you have to choose the most appropriate lane depending on which exit you’re taking, always giving preference to vehicles in that lane. To leave the ring, it is necessary to enter the outside lane in advance (if this is not possible, you need to make a new turn to reach this position in time).
It is important to indicate the maneuvers to be performed with the turn signals. It’s the only way out there to inform other road users of our intention behind the wheel. However, doing so does not mean that you have an absolute right to lead the way. You must first ensure that the maneuver can be carried out safely and without impeding the movement of other vehicles.
The use of these lights is mandatory and this is mentioned in the general traffic regulations. Carrying out a turning maneuver, changing direction or overtaking “without warning other users of the obligatory signals and with adequate notice” is a serious crime punishable by a fine of 200 euros.
5 curiosities from rotors
The country with the highest number of turns: France, with one rotor every 21 kilometers.
Oldest: the arch located in the Arc de Triomphe in Paris (France).
Most complex: Magic Circle in Swindon, UK. It consists of a total of seven rotors inside and the rotation varies in each of them.
Smarter: Circular lanes lose efficiency when pedestrians are forced to pass through them. For this reason, in Lujiazui, in Shanghai (China), an elevated pedestrian ring was built that connects to the subway station, nearby skyscrapers and the most visited historic buildings.
The largest of them are: located in Putrajaya (Malaysia) with an area of 4,500 square meters. In order not to waste the inner land in the center of the roundabout, a 5-star hotel was built, the second residence of the head of state and Petra Perdana Gardens.