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How to Use a Roundabout Correctly: Traffic Rules & Signaling

How to Use a Roundabout Correctly: Traffic Rules & Signaling

Zutobi

by Zutobi · Updated Nov 30, 2020

What Is a Roundabout?

A roundabout consists of a central island and one or more lines of traffic that travel in the same direction. Always keep right of the central island. 

When entering a roundabout, slow down and yield to pedestrians and bicycles, and all vehicles already in the roundabout. Enter only when there is a safe gap.

If arrows are marked on the pavement before or in the roundabout, you must follow the direction of the arrows.

How to Use a Roundabout

Diagram showing proper traffic flow in a roundabout

Multi-lane roundabouts have the same traffic rules as single-lane roundabouts. However, in multi-lane roundabouts, you will have to choose your entry lane depending on where you want to turn.

Unless arrows or signs indicate otherwise:

  • If turning right enter in the right lane
  • If going straight ahead – enter using either lane
  • If going more than halfway through – enter using the left lane.

Don’t change lanes or stop while in a roundabout, and make sure you signal before exiting! When leaving the roundabout, check mirrors and blind spot to make sure you can safely exit. If unsafe to exit, drive around the roundabout an additional time.

Turning Right at Roundabouts

Diagram showing car turning right in a roundabout
  1. Approach in the right lane and signal right on approach
  2. Stay in the lane and keep signaling until you have exited the roundabout

Going Straight Ahead at Roundabouts

Diagram showing car going straight in a roundabout
  1. Approach in either lane but don’t signal on approach
  2. Keep in the same lane throughout the roundabout
  3. Signal right as you pass the exit before your exit

Turning Left at Roundabouts

Diagram showing car turning left in a roundabout
  1. Approach in the left lane and signal left on approach
  2. Drive close to the central island
  3. Signal right as you pass the exit before your exit
  4. Follow the left lane when you exit the roundabout

Making U-turns at Roundabouts

Diagram showing car making a u-turn in a roundabout
  1. Approach in the left lane and signal left on approach
  2. Drive close to the central island
  3. Signal right as you pass the exit before your exit
  4. Follow the left lane when you exit the roundabout
A car jumping over a central island in a roundabout
Don’t drive through roundabouts like this

Some drivers are reluctant to maneuver in roundabouts as they may seem difficult, but they are actually safer and more efficient than traditional intersections. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IHS) found that fatal crashes decreased by almost 90% at intersections with traffic controls after being replaced by roundabouts.

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