Traffic Circles Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Traffic Circles

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Traffic circles1 are the most misused of all traffic control systems. Those who use them correctly usually find themselves banished from the rest of the civilized world, doomed to drive around the nicely mowed circular median of the damned for the rest of their lives, or until they give up on this defensive driving nonsense. The unfortunate consequence of this is that those who do know how to use traffic circles - having jobs, kids, and their own well-being to think about - opt to misuse the circle for the relative speed and safety gained by doing so.

How to Correctly Use a Traffic Circle

If you are prepared to throw caution to the wind and brave the dangers of using the traffic circle correctly, follow these simple and easy steps:

  • When you drive up to a two-lane traffic circle, you will see three entrance lanes.

  • The outside lane is for direct turning into the next exit of the traffic circle. The fortunate few whose fate lies in this lane do not have to remain on the circle for long. The only danger involved with this manoeuvre is the possibility of encountering particularly bad drivers who you'd have to watch out for anyway.

  • The middle lane is for access to the outer lane of the circle proper. This lane should only be used if you are keen to get to the second exit of the circle. If you stay in the outer lane of the traffic circle and drive past the second exit, you will risk having an accident; seeing any of a number of colourful gestures; hearing particularly creative uses of language; or all three directed at you from any driver in the inner lane expecting you to have passed your driver's exam.

  • The inside lane is for access to the inner lane of the circle. This lane should be used if you want to reach any exit after the second. Once you are in the inner lane stay there until you pass the turn-off of the exit before the one you are trying to reach. Then move to the outer lane and take the next exit. If you are cut-off by a driver who doesn't know how to use a traffic circle, do not try to kill them. Drivers like that always get their just rewards sooner or later. You may, however, appease your rage by using the aforementioned colourful gestures and/or creative language.

1Otherwise known as roundabouts.

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