Updated 10/23/2012 08:15 AM
Driving it Home: Driving 101
More and more roundabouts are replacing our area's typical intersections, but the new traffic pattern has some motorists’ heads spinning. That’s why this month’s Driving it Home focuses on the right way to drive through roundabouts, as well as other types of lanes. Our Megan Cruz reports.
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NEW YORK -- They’re popular in other countries, but here in the United States they’re fairly new. Meaning a fair amount of frustrated drivers and accidents.
"You want to approach with caution, yield to vehicles already in the roundabout," explained Lenny Fornabia, NYS Trooper.
Trooper Lenny Fornabia says most accidents happen because drivers don’t yield. Or, they switch lanes within the circle.
"People set their mirrors up to be driving straight - they're not setting them up to be looking at something in a circle," said Trooper Fornabia.
So he says slow down, and follow the signs.
"If you're going to go straight or to the right, typically you want to be in the right lane. If you're gonna go left, stay in the left lane," said Fornabia.
Whoops - made a mistake? Again, Fornabia stresses staying in your lane.
"The beautiful part about roundabouts is I'm in a circle so I can continue in the circle for as long as I have to to get into the right lane,” he explained.
No excuses now that you know the proper way to round these new roundabouts. No surprise though, while out for this story, we saw other improper uses of other types of lanes, like the two left turn lane.
"That is designed for someone making a left turn. Typically what happens is people use it as a driving lane," said Fornabia.
Fornabia says another road that should be less travelled is the shoulder.
"The shoulders are more or less restricted to pedestrians and cyclists," said Fornabia.
Trooper Fornabia says he's driving these rules home because using these roadways the right way is crucial.
"Everybody's in a rush to get somewhere and they don't want to sit there and sometimes follow the rules of the road. The rules of the road are there because it makes it safer for everybody," said Fornabia.