You may call them rotaries. Perhaps you call them roundabouts. Whatever you call them, please don’t say they’re easy to drive. Even experienced drivers seem to lose rhyme and reason while in them. I live in an area where they are peppered about the landscape, and I thank my fictitious god I’ve only been in one fender bender while navigating them (It was the other driver’s fault, BTW).
What happens when you plop a roundabout into a community with very little experience driving them? Chaos.
Rowan County, Kentucky just got its first rotary and while some drivers followed the rules of the road, many did not.
Roughly 4,000 cars pass through this intersection of Routes 60 and 801 in Morehead, Kentucky each day. In addition to being a busy roadway, the four-way stop is also coined as a rather dangerous one. Despite having flashing lights, stop signs, and other traffic control devices, the intersection has earned a reputation for a high number of severe crashes, as reported by local news station WKYT. Officials decided that the best way to reduce the severity of the accidents was to set up a roundabout.
This video, oh, my god, this video has to be seen.
The article continues.
It’s hard to understand just why the rules of the road seem to fly out of the window when it comes to roundabouts. Drivers in this particular scenario just seem to pick whatever side of the road suits them and use it to just drive straight across—that includes the lane meant for opposing traffic.
The first vehicle in the video to do so is a truck towing a boat, something which the locals specifically speculated would have frequent issues with the roundabout due to the town’s proximity to Cave Run Lake, a popular destination for boat-owning tourists in the area. The truck sets off a chain reaction which makes the other motorists seem like lemmings.
Over the past weekend, my girlfriend and I drove from Boston to North Carolina and back. What struck me was the number of poor decisions made by other drivers and near-accidents we witnessed. And it made me think our brains evolved on the plains of Africa and not on Route 95. It makes perfect sense driving through a rotary doesn’t come easy to many.
Thanks for reading.
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