Roundabouts can still be confusing to local drivers in the Cayman Islands, but to visitors behind the wheel they are daunting, especially since many of them are driving on the left for the first time. As Cayman continues to improve its road systems and infrastructure, more and more roundabouts are going up on Grand Cayman’s business and tourism districts, here is some advice.
A roundabout is a circular intersection where drivers travel counterclockwise around a center island. There are no traffic signals or stop signs, and drivers yield at entry to traffic in the roundabout, then enter the intersection and exit at their desired street.
The rules of the roundabout are straightforward: you always give way to the right when attempting to enter a roundabout. Once you are in the roundabout, you should stay in your lane until exiting. Sounds simple, but some divers are confused about which lane they should be in from the start.
To help clear up any confusion, Cayman’s Road Code outlines the rules and guidelines for navigating roundabouts.
- All drivers are required to give way or yield to traffic approaching from the immediate right on the roundabout.
- Overtaking and stopping while on the roundabout is strictly prohibited.
- If you are taking the first exit of a dual carriage roundabout you must keep in the left lane and continue signaling left to leave the circle.
- If you are taking the second exit, select the appropriate lane on approaching the roundabout; stay in the chosen lane until you need to alter course to exit; signal left after you have passed the exit preceding the one you want.”
- If you are taking the last exit you must signal right and approach the roundabout in the right-hand lane. Keep to the right on the roundabout until you need to change lanes to exit.
- Drivers are asked to keep watch for pedestrians crossing the exit roads and cars crossing in front of them on exit roads.
The first British roundabout was in Letchworth Garden City in 1909. It was originally intended as a traffic island for pedestrians. According to the RoadDriver website, research has shown that roundabouts are much safer than road intersections and accident rates have decreased where roundabouts have replaced junctions.
So, have fun on your Cayman Islands vacation – drive on the left, be safe and don’t be intimidated by those British roundabouts!