Roundabouts (also known as traffic circles) are becoming more and more common where I live. You may see more of them as you travel the country in your RV, as well. Developed in the United Kingdom in the ’60s, modern-day traffic circles were designed to promote safer and smoother traffic flow. Since its inception, the U.S. and other countries worldwide have adopted this unique roadway concept. All sizes of vehicles can use roundabouts. However, maneuvering a large vehicle like your RV through a traffic circle can be a bit tricky. Perhaps a few tips would be helpful.
A roundabout is a uniquely designed circular intersection in which traffic flows in one direction around a central island. A gently sloping apron forms a ring around the center island. Beyond this apron, you’ll find lanes of traffic that approach, pass through, and continue beyond onto different roads.
In the U.S., drivers travel counterclockwise around a raised center island. Entering traffic yields the right of way to the traffic already in the roundabout. Longer vehicles (like an RV) must often utilize the apron area in order to maneuver safely through the traffic circle. And that’s perfectly legal.
- Designed for safety, roundabouts have reduced the frequency and severity of traffic accidents. This is partly because drivers must slow down as they approach, yield, and pass through the traffic circle.
- Roundabout traffic exits from just one direction, making it easier for pedestrians to safely cross the intersection.
- Roundabouts also more effectively keep heavy traffic moving than stop lights or stop signs.
- There is less idling time for gas-powered vehicles producing less harmful emissions.
- The slower vehicle speeds through the roundabouts help to reduce noise.
Yes, the traffic circle or roundabout may seem a bit confusing at first, but with practice, you can feel confident even when driving your big rig through the circle.
Here’s a video that explains the correct driving procedure for large vehicles in roundabouts.