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Here's How To Avoid Crashes When Traveling Through Roundabouts, DOT Says

Example of a roundabout, which are becoming more common in the Hudson Valley.
Example of a roundabout, which are becoming more common in the Hudson Valley. Photo Credit: Provided/ NYSDOT

Roundabouts, those sometimes confusing circular intersections without traffic signals, are becoming more common across New York state. 

So the state Department of Transportation (DOT) offers tips on navigating what the agency considers safer and more efficient intersections.

Acting DOT Commissioner Paul A. Karas shared some tips below for traveling through roundabouts as they become more common on roads in the Hudson Valley Region. 

Roundabouts are safer, more sustainable and more efficient than traditional intersections, according to Karas.

Crashes in roundabouts are less severe, resulting in fewer injuries and fatalities. They help traffic move more smoothly, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

“Communities across New York State have benefited from the construction of roundabouts, which improve intersection safety and reduce vehicle emissions including carbon dioxide,” Karas said. 

Roundabouts see a decrease in the severity of crashes, which typically occur at a slow speed and include side swipes and fender-benders, greatly reducing the chance of deadly head-on or T-bone crashes, according to the state DOT.

Traffic flows more freely through roundabouts than at traditional intersections, cutting congestion and commute time. 

Roundabouts also eliminate the need for electric-powered traffic signals, provide a more walkable community and an aesthetically pleasing landscape.

In the Hudson Valley, there are eight roundabouts on state roads, including the newest ones located on Route 55 in the town of LaGrange. 

Drivers are reminded:

-- Watch traffic signs and pavement markings to determine the correct lane to be in before entering the roundabout. Once inside the roundabout do not change lanes.

-- Use the left lane to make left turns and use the right lane to make right turns. Follow signs and markings to determine which lane(s) go straight.

-- Traffic in the roundabout has the right-of-way.

-- Vehicles wishing to enter should yield at the yield line and look for oncoming traffic on their left.

-- Enter the roundabout when there is an adequate gap in the circulating traffic flow.

-- Always yield to pedestrians and keep crosswalks clear.

-- Cars and trucks should yield to bicycle traffic and not pass them.

-- Bicyclists are permitted to ride within the roundabout and should follow the flow of traffic, riding in the middle of the lane to prevent being passed or cut off. 

NYSDOT provides additional information online regarding roundabouts, by clicking here.

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