Monday, September 20, 2010

How to Correctly Negotiate a Roundabout

 If This is Actually Informative, How Did You Get Your License in the First Place?

One of the main benefits of the traffic roundabout—also known in some places as the traffic circle, rotary, or those goddamned things they have in France—is that it often replaces a four-way stop intersection, thus decreasing congestion by allowing drivers to maintain speed through the intersection when safe, and calling for slowing or stopping only when traffic dictates.

The roundabout is a relatively new concept in some parts of the United States, dating back only to 1990, so I suppose I should allow for the possibility that after barely more than 175,000 hours’ worth of practice, perhaps American drivers just haven’t quite gotten the hang of it.

The other option, of course, is that the kind of folks who don’t work their way through the roundabout properly do so because they’re self-important assholes who find that the five to six seconds they save far outweigh (1) endangering other drivers’ lives in a head-on collision and (2) ensuring that every other driver on the road realizes that you’re a self-important asshole. I’m inclined to bet on this particular possibility, but Napoleon Bonaparte (unless it was somebody totally different) once advised us to “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence,” and that seems like good healthy advice.

So for all you non-malicious incompetents out there, the Bowling in the Dark Graphic Design Department proudly presents the following two-part, in-depth  instruction manual on how to correctly negotiate a traffic roundabout:



That is all.


  1. But the first pic would be right in Australia, due to the Coriolis effect.

  2. While that's technically correct, it's only barely relevant, because hardly anybody in Australia drives. The only people that have gasoline are the ones who can steal it—mohawked outlaws dressed in chainmail and hockey masks—or make it, like Tina Turner.

  3. My small town had a roundabout put in a couple years ago. Because of the high population of the elderly and tourists, nobody knows how to use the damn thing, and my life is in jeopardy day in and day out.