We had just moved, so both of my parents were still getting used to driving on the opposite side of the road. And roundabouts in general. I have fond memories of my mom getting stuck on the Magic Roundabout for about an hour, too terrified to leave. So we just kept going round and round and round. Being a small child (3 or 4 years old), I just kept telling her every-time we passed the same building.
"Mommy! There's that building again!".
I'm sure she wanted to reach back and strangle me. When she eventually mustered the courage to exit...she did something wrong and we stopped up the whole roundabout. I don't actually remember that part, but she claims traffic basically ground to a halt until she maneuvered her car out of traffic.
Fond memories =)
Edit: Based on another commenter, looks like it was the "Plough" roundabout, not the one in this article. Whoops!
Compare reaching your parent on a singly-linked list to a doubly-linked list. Being able to traverse in either direction may provide significant performance boosts...
Slowing down means more time for observation and reaction. As a result, it's actually quite a safe interchange.
(Most traffic accidents are the result of inattention coupled with insufficient reaction time. If you aren't paying attention, bad things happen. If you are paying attention but there isn't enough time to do anything about it, bad things happen. Thus, safety is highly correlated with both getting driver attention and increasing the time available for reacting.
Narrow twisty mountain roads are often much safer than the country roads leading up to them -- because drivers know they need to be involved and aware. Long straight highways are safe at high speeds because drivers can see obstructions and changes far in advance.
On a normal roundabout if you stay in a lane (one of the inside ones at least) you'll just keep going round and round.
With the redesigned Hanger Lane you get in the lane marked for your exit and the outer lanes slowly peel off as feeders for the appropriate turnings. If you want to keep going round and round you'll need to keep moving over to the right (since we go round them clockwise) every so often to keep from being directed off eventually from your current lane.
[EDIT] It's a "Spiral Roundabout".
You queue for 30 minutes on the A406 with 9000 people who have left Wembley Ikea bashing your head on the steering wheel, then sling your car onto Hangar Lane like a trebuchet the moment the opposing traffic lights have gone red (not yours have gone green), slide across three to five lanes randomly, swerve to avoid the Polish truck driver who can't see you because his vehicle is LHD, avoid the police car parked on the inside to protect the previously crashed vehicle, shout "fuck you" out of the window a few times at other drivers, the traffic lights which have screwed you repetitively and any pedestrian zombies trying to short cut it across the junction and possibly several people trying to clean your windows, middle finger the BMW on your left which wasn't there two seconds ago, then desperately try to force everyone out of your way honking wildly as the 2 lanes onto the A40 narrow to one...
Followed by speed up/slow down for a bit because of the Gatsos then a celebratory victory McDonalds (and to shut the kids up) at the A312 junction a few miles down the road (or American Diner on the A40 if you want to spend the entire evening on the toilet).
Not saying all US traffic circles are like that of course.
The upshot of this is that one of the most terrifying things I've done recently was to try to navigate all three of the roundabouts, in succession, on a bicycle, at the same time as two or three buses.
Interesting, 2-lane roundabouts are very common here (Netherlands), but I don't find them much more difficult than single-lane roundabouts. That Magic Roundabout on the other hand looks insane :-S.
Gotta wonder how drivers from Raleigh, NC would like the 'roundabout' around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris though ;-)
It's actually a lot easier to navigate than it looks, you can essentially treat the whole thing as one giant roundabout by taking the second exit on each mini-roundabout.
One explanation that always made sense to me is that when driving a manual/stick-shift car, taking your dominant hand (statistically the right hand) off the steering wheel for a secondary task like changing gear is more dangerous... YMMV
Although apparently the origins DO have to do with keeping your dominant hand free for various tasks!
and all because of one Napoleon ;-)
I speak in jest. I know the story is apocryphal, but I am not going to pass the opportunity up - aka let facts get in the way of a good story [-;)
Driving through was surprisingly easy (not to mention efficient), especially given how chaotic morning rush-hour driving can be.
Note that it's art rather than something functional.
The magic roundabout is mentioned in another posting on that same site: