Texas Roundabout Laws and Ways To Be Safe in One
The one thing we have added to traffic in Midland/Odessa is the roundabout, here are the laws in Texas and the ways to be safe entering, while in, and exiting those roundabouts.
Most of my friends think a roundabout is a stupid way to get traffic around a tricky intersection, but I personally think it is a great idea and makes the places where there is one a lot better than that intersection used to be.
One example is Thomason and Illinois and Beal Parkway in Midland, before the roundabout was created there was a 4-way stop which caused a backup of traffic on the eastbound side of Thomason coming from Loop 250.
Now the traffic moves better and there are not many times that it will get backed up or I haven't seen it if it has gotten backed up to Loop 250 with the roundabout.
So what are the laws here in Texas on driving in a roundabout?
Take it slow when coming up to a roundabout.
Make sure you match the speed in the roundabout to avoid hitting the people that are already in the roundabout, the average speed in a roundabout is usually 10-15 MPH.
Yield to traffic inside the roundabout.
The key to remember is the people already in the roundabout have the right of way so you have to yield to them. Vehicles approaching cannot speed or "cut" in front of a vehicle already in the roundabout.
Use turn signals.
Turn signals are important in and out of the roundabout. When you are approaching a roundabout, use your turn signal so that the others in the roundabout know when you are exiting.
Avoid changing lanes.
When you are in the roundabout changing lanes should be avoided to prevent confusion and an accident. Stay in your lane till you exit since the distance in the roundabout is so short.
Watch for pedestrians.
Just like in all aspects of driving, be aware of pedestrians in and around the roundabout. Be aware of crosswalks and the pedestrians in them to prevent an accident.
Following these simple things that you already use daily while driving will prevent an accident in a roundabout and keep it safe.