There are a few rotaries (or roundabouts, if you prefer) near my house and I always approach them with a sense of impending doom, as if I was about to jump into a pool of sharks. In fact, I’ve been hit once by a retarded driver (not sure if that’s a medically accurate description, but the guy was clearly missing a bolt or two) in a rotary and recently avoided a high-speed near miss by some jerk in a blue BMW.
I recently consulted the Massachusetts Rules of the Road to compare my rotary experiences with the written law. Here’s what I found in Chapter 4, page 125:
Because only a few states in America have traffic
rotaries (traffic circles), many drivers are
unfamiliar with rotaries’ right-of-way rules. Be
especially careful and generous when extending
the right-of-way to other drivers in and near
rotaries. When you approach a rotary, you must
yield the right-of-way to any vehicles already in
the rotary. If traffic in the rotary is heavy, stop at
the edge of the rotary and wait until you can
That’s it. That’s the entire entry on the proper operation of a vehicle in a rotary in Massachusetts. In other words, nobody really has a clue what they’re doing, so watch out!