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Buffalo County Sheriff's Office shares golden rules for navigating through roundabouts

Love them or hate them, roundabouts are popping up all over our area, but some drivers haven't quite gotten the hang of them. (NTV/Ifesinachi Egbosimba)

Love them or hate them, roundabouts are popping up all over our area, but some drivers haven't quite gotten the hang of them. A few people have even written into the NTV newsroom, saying some just don't know what to do when they get to one.

"I actually like them, they're handy," said Kearney resident, Micky Black.

"My husband cusses a lot when he goes through them," said Megan Baker. "I think they're kind of like gravel roads, nobody knows how to drive on those right either."

They've been called the circle of death, but Buffalo County Deputy Sheriff Brad Hall says roundabouts help reduce the number of crashes.

"They are a lot safer and more efficient than a traditional 4-way intersection," said Deputy Sheriff Hall.

According to the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR), traffic circles reduce crashes by 40% and have fewer maintenance costs.

NDOR says, as you approach a roundabout you'll see signs YIELD signs and a dashed yield line. You should slow down, watch for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other cars. Be prepared to stop if necessary, but you should not stop if it is clear.

"Part of the reason it is a yield sign only and not a stop sign is to increase the number of vehicles the intersection can handle more quickly," said Deputy Sheriff Hall.

Once you're in the roundabout, do not stop. It will only confuse other drivers.

A conventional roundabout will have one-way signs mounted in the center island. They help guide traffic and indicate that you must drive to the right of the center island. NDOR says before you exit the roundabout, you should turn on your right turn signal and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists.

"People that fail to signal their turn delay other people waiting to enter the traffic circle," said Deputy Sheriff Hall.

"Drive safe, use your head, there's no rush. Think of other people besides just yourself. Other people got families out there, they want to see their husbands, their wives, their friends come home," said Black.

For more information on how to navigate through roundabouts, click here.

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