What Do You Think About Roundabouts?

Dear Crabby,

My city is installing all these roundabouts in my area and they scare me to death!  I am especially scared that my teenage son will get into an accident on one of them.  What is your opinion?

Sincerely, Turning Crazy Mom

Dear Turning Crazy,

I have seen these roundabouts all over the place, and I too heard we will be getting more in the future.  I personally don’t mind them.  My trusty Oldsmobile and I have been through a lot together and this is just one more thing.  I am, however, a little worried about being out on the road with that son of yours!  If he can’t drive his vehicle in a complete circle without hitting someone or something then that’s a definite problem.  I remember when they first built the Interstate:  I-75 to be exact.  When my mother was entering the on-ramp for her first time, she came to the end and stopped to see if it was clear!  Oh boy, there were truckers and cars piled up behind her for blocks, yelling and screaming all sorts of loving words at her.  She actually got her first ticket that day for “Obstructing Traffic.”  She was bitter about that until the day she died.  I, on the other hand, am pretty traffic savvy.  You see, I spent some time in Europe during my younger years.  If you can survive over there for any length of time, you will be prepared for whatever this country throws at you.  Them people are weird, I tell you.  I know that’s not politically correct, but it’s true.  Not only do they talk funny, but they also drink warm beverages, sit on the wrong side of their vehicles, and even drive on the wrong side of the road!  But not all them European countries do that – only a couple here and there – and it’s all up to you to figure out which is which.  Well, they didn’t have many traffic jams and they did have roundabouts everywhere.  I think they may have been onto something.  Some of their findings might even benefit us.  Take these four fellas I met while I was over there.  They were singing and dancing and looking pretty goofy with their bowl cut hairdos.  They didn’t sound anything like Elvis or Buddy Holly, so I suggested that maybe they should head over to the good old USA.  I figured somebody might be able to give them boys a lesson or two in singing.  Maybe even give them a decent haircut.  Well, I heard they did make it over here.  They even did alright on this side of the pond, but they never did find a decent barber.  And that name they came up with?  Why name yourself after a critter like the beatle?   So you just never know when them European guys come up with stuff whether we should pay attention or not.  As for this kid of yours, tell him there are four basic rules to roundabouts:  Yield to oncoming traffic before entering that circle of confusion.  Stay in the outside lane if you’re turning right or going straight.  If you are trying to turn left, stay in the inside lane until you reach your exit, glancing over your shoulder just to make sure it’s clear.  Finally, if you’ve seen the same signs over and over, please keep your hands and feet in the vehicle at all times and exit to your right as soon as possible!  Otherwise you’ll make yourself all dizzy.  And please keep him off the main roads between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  That’s when I go for my daily errands run, and I don’t need another snot nosed kid cutting me off or side swiping my Olds.

Sincerely,

Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at DearCrabby@rochestermedia.com.