ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Roundabouts have been shown to reduce collisions, but reducing driver confusion remains a work in progress.
Rockford’s roundabout at Auburn and Main was as source of driver ire for years following its opening in 2013. A Rockford organization even created a quiz to help drivers better understand the traffic device.
Despite the increased safety of roundabouts, their infrequent usage in Illinois roadways means many drivers have little experience navigating them, leading to confusion and the occasional fender-bender.
Stopping in a roundabout, as well as failing to yield appropriately, are two common mistakes leading to accidents in roundabouts, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
IDOT published five steps to drive a roundabout:
- Yield when you approach a roundabout and watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
- Look to the left as you near the dashed yield line and yield to traffic already in the circle.
- Once you see a gap in traffic, enter the circle and proceed to your exit. Look for pedestrians as you exit and make sure you stay in your lane as you navigate the roundabout.
- In a multi-lane roundabout, choose a lane before entering the roundabout. Signs posted near the roundabout will direct you to the appropriate lane based on whether you want to make a left turn, go straight or make a U-turn.
- Choose either the left lane as you enter the roundabout or choose the right lane if you want to make a right turn.
The department also created a video on the rules.