Monday through Friday, 64-year-old Oran Sands lives a life common to millions of Americans. He wakes up early, gets dressed and heads into our office. In his role as an application developer, Oran creates, tests and programs some pretty groundbreaking software for us. But Oran’s pioneering spirit isn’t confined to his work space. In fact, he’s taken his trailblazing temperament global by setting the world record for the longest time spent driving in a roundabout.
It all started about a year ago. As Oran was driving in a newly developed roundabout in Carmel, IN — the Indianapolis suburb he calls home — he ended up missing his turnoff and had to make another lap in the traffic circle.
Then it hit him: “It dawned on me that no one knows that it is my second time,” Oran said, “so I went around a third time and proved to myself that nobody had any idea I was circling.”
With that happy accident, Oran felt inspired. He quickly started digging for research on world records related to roundabouts. He learned that there were no current records for longest time driving in a roundabout, so he decided to snag the accomplishment for himself.
With six months of meticulous planning that included reaching out to the mayor’s office to get them on board, Oran was ready to hit the road. On October 13, 2015, he gassed up his 1987 Volkswagen Cabriolet and started circling. Part of his planning included having passengers, or “co-drivers,” as he called them. He called on friends to ride along with him and keep him alert, and Carmel’s mayor, James Brainard, even hopped in for a few laps around the roundabout.
“I was pretty dizzy after about 10 minutes with him,” Mayor Brainard said.
In an interview with NBC affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis, Oran said that part of his goal was to demonstrate how safe roundabouts truly are.
“Always trying to raise awareness for transportation alternatives,” Oran said. “This is a transportation infrastructure alternative that has worked out quite well and is statistically showing to be much, much, much safer, not to mention fuel efficient.”
Aside from his right foot falling asleep a few times, Oran’s quest went off without a hitch. It took him 3 hours, 34 minutes and 33 seconds to earn the RecordSetter.com World Record for ‘Longest Time Driving In a Roundabout’. During his ride, Oran averaged 19 miles per hour and completed more than 300 laps in the dogbone-shaped roundabout, with a few enthusiastic drivers even joining him for a few laps once they heard about what he was doing.
As for Oran’s future record-setting plans, he has a couple of other titles he’d like to get under his belt. But for now, he’s keeping them close to his chest.
Well played, Oran.