Q

What can I do to prevent an accident at the new roundabout in Rockford?

A

Many people like the new roundabout near Greenwood Cemetery at North Main Street and Auburn Road because they move through the intersection more quickly than before. However, to others, roundabouts are confusing, and they feel apprehensive about using them.

Education and a little bit of practice is the key to learning to navigate a roundabout. As you approach the intersection, you get into the appropriate lane, based on the direction you want to go—left to turn left, right to turn right, and either lane to go straight. You then wait for a break in traffic in the circle—yielding to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motor vehicles—and enter when it is safe to do so. When you approach your exit, you turn on your right-hand turn signal, and exit the roundabout. It is that simple.

What Not to Do in a Two-Lane Roundabout

However, when it comes to a roundabout, knowing what not to do is almost as important as knowing what to do. The following tips can help prevent an accident:

  • Do not change lanes. Many accidents occur when a driver realizes he is in the wrong lane for his exit and tries to change lanes inside the circle.
  • Do not drive next to trucks, buses, or other large vehicles. These vehicles can straddle both lanes and cause a sideswipe accident.
  • Do not stop. Once you are in the roundabout, you should only stop in order to avoid a collision. Other cars are not expecting you to stop and could rear-end your vehicle.

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