I’ve now resided in Norway a total of seven weeks — three last November, and four since permanently moving here.

I can testify to seeing only one stop sign in that entire duration.

Roundabouts

The roundabout is a ubiquitous construction here in Norway. To me, at first, the system seemed dangerous at worst, chaotic at best, but the more I drive here and pay close attention as a passenger, the more I notice that there is rarely any slow traffic or any instances in which we have to come to a complete stop between home and destination. I would imagine this saves wear on the brakes, consumption of gasoline, and possible road rage caused by having to stop at stop signs every 30 yards in less urban areas.

I count about ten roundabouts between our house and his parents’ house (three, pictured, within a kilometer, just to get to the grocery store), meaning we average one every eight minutes. Of course, usually, they are concentrated in clusters as you reach cities or towns — more like what you see in the Google Earth screenshot. Once you figure out what the heck you’re doing at each roundabout, they are pretty simple to navigate. I found a Reddit thread that described Norwegian roundabouts as having “no rules”, which isn’t entirely true, though each roundabout may have its own set of signs and arrows, like any US intersection, where perhaps the left lane is “turn allowed on green arrow but also we’ll allow you to turn left on a green ball or blinking yellow arrow or even a solid yellow arrow.”

I suppose we just have to drive defensively. I’m pretty sure that if we started changing out American intersections for roundabouts, the driving accident toll would undergo a major increase. I’ll just leave that statement there for you to decide about on your own.

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