How to Navigate the Island's Roundabouts
Let me clearly state that we love to have tourists visit our Amelia Island paradise and as more are coming, more traffic roundabouts will dot the road infra structure. Currently there are only 5, one at the beginning of 14th Street near the Airport, one and the end of Fletcher near Harris Teeter, 2 on the parkway (A1A) near OMNI Amelia Island Plantation and the most profiled one at the end of Sadler Road at Fletcher Avenue.
It’s the one I need to navigate daily and lately I feel a sense of anxiety coming over me when approaching this roundabout. My little Miata has narrowly escaped serious damage on several occasions as many visitors seem to be completely unaware of how to properly drive a roundabout. So to help you out, here is a simple explanation.
1) Those are Yield Signs, NOT Stop Signs. Yield Signs are used to protect traffic that flows without requiring it to come to a complete stop. When you come upon a Yield Sign at a roundabout, you need to look to your left and if there is no traffic coming, GO!
Traffic gets backed up fast and people will start honking.
Traffic includes vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.
Which brings us to the area where most people get completely confused.
2) Once you are past the yield sign and in the roundabout, DO NOT STOP in the middle of your turn. Continue to the roundabout’s exit you need to take and get out. The vehicles to your right are supposed to yield to YOU. Keep going because when some one rear ends you, it will more than likely ruin your vacation.
There are exceptions to the rule. Twice now when I was “inside” the roundabout, someone almost pulled into the side of me. I guess they could not see the huge “YIELD” signs. Just stay alert and no one should get hurt. In general, don’t try to be courteous and let someone in, because the person behind you may not see what you do and rear end you.
3) When you get to your roundabout exit destination, smoothly get out and have a great time and enjoy the island.
“Nobody ever yielded their way into a collision.” Think about it. If you are in doubt about who has the right of way, give it away, but not, I emphasize NOT while you’re in the middle of a roundabout.