A Sergeant First Class assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas, died in a PMV-2 mishap 16 January 2021 in El Paso, Texas, at 1435 local. The Soldier was operating his sport bike in a roundabout when he hit a curb and lost control. The motorcycle struck a sand berm, then another curb before the Soldier was ejected from the bike. He was transported to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead by the local medical examiner. Speed is reportedly a contributing factor. The Soldier had completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic RiderCourse and was wearing personal protective equipment. The mishap is under investigation.
Since 2016, the Army has lost an average of 27 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap is the eighth off-duty PMV-2 fatality of FY21.
Roundabouts are becoming more and more common on American roads, but sometimes even the most seasoned driver can get confused when faced with one of these enigmatic traffic circles. Who gives way to whom? Which direction do you signal? How on earth do you navigate roundabouts with multiple lanes?
Slow on approach
One of the advantages of a roundabout is that it does not stop traffic like a stop sign or a red light would. If a roundabout is empty, you do not have to stop before entering. However, that does mean that you must exercise extra caution on approach and make sure it is completely safe before entering. Slow down when you are approaching a roundabout, and if the way is clear, then you can proceed.
Give way to the person who is already on the roundabout
The first and most important rule of a roundabout is that you give way to vehicles that are already occupying it. Just as you would when entering a regular road, you must wait until there is sufficient space to enter the roundabout.
Give way to the left
When two or more vehicles approach a roundabout at the same time, you must then give way to the vehicle to the left. Otherwise it is first come, first served.
Signal your intent
One of the most common mistakes people use on roundabouts is signaling incorrectly or not at all. When used properly, indicators can be an excellent way to increase safety and convenience on a roundabout by letting those around you know your intentions. A good rule of thumb is to always signal immediately before your exit, using your right indicator, just as you would when turning. Correct indication on a roundabout goes as follows:
–When turning right (first exit), signal right as with a normal right turn.
–When going straight ahead, no signal upon entering, signal as you approach your exit.
–When turning left (last exit/three-quarters around), signal left upon entering, switch to right as you come to the exit.
When there are two lanes:
Just when you think that you’ve mastered the roundabout, along comes one with two lanes circling around it. Dealing with two lanes can be intimidating, but the reality is that it is not all that different from a regular, smaller roundabout. Often there will be a sign indicating which lane you should take, but if not, here are some guidelines:
–If you are turning right (first exit), take the outside lane.
–If you are going straight or the second exit, take the outside lane
–If you are taking a further exit, take the innermost lane and move over prior to your exit, after the first or second exit.
Proceed with extra caution if the roundabout has curbed edges so that you do run your vehicle over the curb. This could result in causing your vehicle to swerve back into the traffic already in the roundabout.