I’ve had my license since February 20th, 2013, and my record is clean as a bean. Was clean as a bean. Last week I was out at dinner with my mom and she wanted a second glass of wine, so, being the confident and caring daughter that I am, I offered to drive home after dinner.
Fast forward—my mom got an email saying that the estimated cost of damages was $3,000. She told me I could either fork over 3 grand or write her an article explaining the proper use of a roundabout and live with the constant, soul-crushing guilt. I have about $400 in savings from my summer jobs, so the following is the proper use of a roundabout:
Roundabouts are “designed to make intersections safer and more efficient for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.” Bullshit. Roundabouts were introduced in 1904 because someone was in such a constant hurry that they felt the need to construct an alternative intersection to eliminate the need for breaking, they were purely for the aesthetic, they were meant to satisfy someones circle fetish, or they were just a sick joke. Most likely the latter.
To help you learn the proper use of a roundabout, I’d like to request that you imagine you’re driving down a residential street. It’s a wide street and you feel safe going 40, so you’re going 40. It’s about 83 degrees out, and you’re listening to Jack FM (none of this is relevant, it’s just creative assistance). Your mom is in the passenger seat, and as you approach the intersection you realize there isn’t a stop sign. Instead, you see a big, circular, concrete slab in the middle of the road. You slow down a little to let the car from your left pass, and then you veer right and hug the circumference of the slab. Your mom turns down the radio and tells you its the third street (the equivalent of making a left turn on a frickin’ normal intersection), but you’re already passing the third. You’d have to slam on the breaks to make such a sharp turn, so instead of risking it you go around the roundabout again. You’re such a good, law abiding citizen.
When dealing with a roundabout, keeping a constant speed is key because if you don’t the woman behind you will ram into the side of your rental car. If you just go around the roundabout a second time, you won’t have to deal with exchanging information with “Samantha” (the victim, for our purposes) because the whole left front of her car wouldn’t be bludgeoned in. If you learn how to use a roundabout, you won’t have to live with soul-crushing guilt like I do.