I remember three or four years ago reading that there was going to be a roundabout installed at the junction of Cox Road and Ferndale Road whose purpose was to ease the congestion caused by the traffic lights. I’ve driven in the United Kingdom and I’m used to using multi-lane roundabouts but I was aware that most drivers from this part of Virginia had probably never used one.
Fast forward a few years and the roundabout has now been in use for some time and I must admit my initial fears about its use have not been realized. I use the roundabout daily and I have yet to see any accidents or even any close encounters. On the whole the traffic moves freely and the lines of traffic going back along Ferndale have disappeared, even at peak periods.
With this in mind I have to say well done to the local authority for installing the roundabout and well done to the drivers of the area for doing a good job using it.
Now, having said that, I still have one minor observation about its use. For some reason drivers are not using their indicators when approaching, on, and exiting the roundabout. This can cause confusion to other drivers and therefore increases the chances of vehicles coming together.
Although I have no concrete evidence to support my supposition, I suspect the reason for this is that they have never been instructed on how to negotiate a single lane roundabout.
There are some good videos on line but if I may be so bold to offer advice, a quick guide for indicator use in this instance is:
As you approach the roundabout if you are leaving at the first exit indicate Right.
As you approach the roundabout if you are going past the first exit indicate Left.
Keep indicating Left until you approach your intended exit then indicate Right.
By doing this, approaching drivers can see clearly that the vehicles on the roundabout are either leaving before their intended entrance, or, going round past them. The approaching drivers can then adjust their speed accordingly and if necessary, stop. Doing this will result in smoother flowing traffic, reduce the risk of accidents and hopefully, much less stress.
R. Allen Dinwiddie County