Roundabouts Confound Tourists

Roundabouts Confound Tourists

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Published December 30, 2016

Foreign drivers were involved in about 22% of car accidents at traffic circles between 2011 and 2015, Vísir reports.

These figures came to light in the wake of research conducted by Katrín Halldórsdóttir, an engineer for the traffic department at The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA). Some roundabouts appear to be more dangerous than others, as well – 67% of accidents at the one at Breiðumörk and Þorlákshafnarvegur were caused by foreign drivers.

One of the predominant reasons for this may be that in Iceland, the inner lane of a traffic circle has the right of way, presumably to prevent people from being trapped inside. However, the law says very little on how one is supposed to drive in a traffic circle, except that parking on one is not permitted.

In a survey conducted of seven different car rental agencies, the fact that the inner ring has the right of way is what most surprised the vast majority of tourists. This, combined with the accident data, may indicate that knowing this one key (albeit unwritten) rule of the road in Iceland could prevent a costly and potentially life-threatening accident from happening during your stay.


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