“Roundabouts put the instant gratification back in driving” – us

We love roundabouts. In fact, we would drive out of our way to miss stop lights and only go through roundabouts. Our love was not shared by all our expat friends, especially the Americans. These things are intense. You’ve gotta look alive, or you won’t be very long.

This was our essential list for staying alive in a roundabout (assuming you are in a motor vehicle and you already know to drive to the right):

  1. When approaching a roundabout and calculating your options, consider your speed and only stop if you must.
  2. If you stop and wait to enter the roundabout, monitor the cars behind you. You are more likely to get rear-ended than hit by the cars driving by. Do NOT inch forward while you are waiting to enter. This will encourage the driver behind you to floor it and pummel right into your stopped car. We’ve seen this happen several times.
  3. When in the roundabout, your goal is to not get side swiped by the other cars. Everyone is exiting to the right. You just don’t know when. They WILL exit across the nose of your car. We have only recently mastered the art of keeping track of who is turning left, where their “left” is, and not almost getting hit in the process.
  4. When exiting, signal, don’t make any sudden moves, and get the &%#$ out-of-the-way!

One night, on a 10 minute drive, we saw three accidents at roundabouts. To help, I made this very fancy and helpful illustration of who has the right away at any time.


This is almost completely accurate.

3 thoughts on “Roundabouts

  1. The Gand-daddy of all roundabouts is in Paris where 8 streets converge around the Arc De Triumph. I asked a cabbie (as he was moving deftly through it) “what do you do if there’s an accident?” His answer was “wave.”


  2. I completely agree. This is a very accurate round-about drawing, and even more accurate in Al-Ain were they are walking the edge of the traffic to roundabout effectiveness ratio. I


  3. I think I might have long ago mentioned reminding me to give you a crash course in this biz. Inside lane has the right of way. This is the error that will get you killed. Or can lead to other bad things. Approaching the doo-WAAR in the “correct” lane is a biggie too. And, Lucas’s quote (Lucas of Empire Records) absolutely applies here. “The time to hesitate is through.”


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