Roundabouts are safer for both drivers and pedestrians than traffic circles and traditional intersections, leading to an overall reduction in crashes by forcing drivers to reduce their speed. However, even as roundabouts become more common in Nebraska and nationwide, some drivers express initial resistance to the use of roundabouts. Through support from the Nebraska Department of Roads, NTC researchers surveyed Nebraskans to gather opinions on roundabouts and the ways in which drivers would prefer to learn about proper roundabout negotiation. Research findings led to improved recommendations for the updated Nebraska Drivers Manual, which will help inform the public and improve the reception of newly constructed roundabouts. Researchers have also examined ways to safely design the central island characterizing roundabouts.
How to Navigate a Roundabout:
The most common type of roundabout in Lincoln is a single-lane roundabout. As you approach a roundabout there will be a YIELD sign and there may be a dashed yield line. Slow down, watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, and be prepared to stop if necessary. If another car is waiting ahead of you, do not stop in the crosswalk. When you enter, yield to circulating traffic on the left, but do not stop if it is clear. A conventional roundabout will have ONE-WAY signs or directional arrows mounted in the center island. They help guide traffic and indicate that you must drive to the right of the center island. Upon passing the street prior to your exit, turn on your right turn signal and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists as you exit. Left turns and U-turns are completed by traveling around the center island.
You choose your lane in a multi-lane roundabout the same way you would in a traditional multi-lane intersection. Lane directions will be indicated on a sign approaching the intersection and also painted on the road. Drivers can make U-turns by selecting the left lane and driving around the circle. Similar to a single-lane roundabout, as you approach a multi-lane roundabout there will be a YIELD sign and a dashed yield line. Before entering the roundabout, choose your lane, slow down, watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, and be prepared to stop if necessary. If another car is waiting ahead of you, do not stop in the crosswalk. While in the roundabout, stay in your lane; do not stop or pass in the roundabout. Do not drive next to a large truck using the roundabout, as they might need to take up multiple lanes. When exiting the roundabout, turn on your right turn signal and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists.