Traffic circles are meant to be simple and hassle-free interchanges, but some drivers still get it horribly wrong, albeit often with adrenaline-pumping results, writes CARtoday.com columnist Jasmine.

I was pottering about in town recently, minding my own business when I came across a phenomenon clouded in cosmic mystery - the traffic circle. Often observing the lack of etiquette within these circles, I've found that whenever a traffic circle has more than one lane, drivers become completely flummoxed. This is usually when they start formulating a few quick rules of their own, hoping those driving behind them will pick up the clues as they go along.

It has been my understanding that you stick to the inner lanes while going round the circle, before making your way to the outer lanes as you approach your departure point. Simple enough, I thought, as I indicated "left" at the first exit and continued without a glitch.

While waiting for a herd of octogenarians to make their way across a pedestrian crossing, I witnessed a silver Alfa Spider catapulting out of the circle.

The Alfa came to standstill beside me and I vowed to remember that hair-raiser for future reference. The red-head had pulled off a fantasy-F1 trick on a "15-laner" (or so it seemed), coming across all the lanes without indicating once! And judging by the intensity of her telephone conversion, this chick was quite unperturbed by the impromptu ABS brake tests and the accompanying volleys of screeching tyres and hooter squeals she had initiated.

I simply could not get over how slickly choreographed that whole reckless episode looked. But with my rotten luck, a re-creation would resemble the scene of a sick horror movie with me screaming behind Sunny's steering wheel and bracing myself for the almighty crunch of mangled metal. All this is of course apart from the fact that I am completely useless at chatting on my handset while driving, which is probably why the whole thing was outlawed in the first place.

My fascination with the humble traffic circle could be described as a bit sick, but I actually know one person who will re-plot an entire route if it means avoiding one of these. Tempting fate, I usually try to steer her towards them instead, where she will usually simply close her eyes, join the whirlpool and hope that we will all still be alive once we exit.

"I don't get these stupid things," she usually says through gritted teeth while performing her circle slalom. "To me it just looks as though everyone does their own thing anyway!"

This is also the same person who believes that signalling her intentions are by no means mandatory, and chooses to rely instead on her fellow road users' heightened senses of telepathy when it comes to avoiding collisions.


I released my breath after surviving that ordeal and hoped that supporter of ditsy crash courses forgets about the "traffic circles are our friends" course pencilled onto her "to-do" list - they just wouldn't be any fun if she learnt to negotiate them properly! - Jasmine

Original article from Car