Rules for Roundabout Intersections

Written by jennifer vanbaren
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Rules for Roundabout Intersections
Roundabouts help reduce injuries from traffic accidents. (Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

A roundabout is a circular intersection used on many roads, designed to help traffic flow move in a smoother manner. They are also designed to keep traffic flow safer and more efficient. There are two types of roundabouts, which include single-lane and multi-lane roundabouts. All roundabouts use the same rules for drivers entering and exiting through them.

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Roundabouts offer many benefits for cities and drivers. According to the Federal Highway Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the use of roundabouts reduces injury collisions by 75 per cent and reduces fatalities in collisions by 90 per cent. They also help reduce delays and improve traffic flow because drivers are not waiting at traffic lights. The installation of a roundabout is also less expensive than installing and maintaining traffic lights.

Yield to Drivers

One primary rule for driving through roundabouts is that drivers must yield to other drivers. As a driver enters a roundabout, the driver must yield to the cars that are already inside of the roundabout.

Stay in Lane

Once you enter the roundabout, stay in the correct lane. If you are turning right at the first exit, stay in the right lane. If you are going around the roundabout to other exits, stay in the left lane until your exit approaches. Drivers can also perform u-turns in roundabouts. If doing that, stay in the left lane until you exit at the location where you entered.

Avoid Stopping

One important rule while driving through a roundabout is that you cannot stop. Drivers must yield, but stopping should not occur. If incoming traffic is coming, yield to the cars and slow down, but enter at the first opportunity possible.

Yield to Pedestrians

Most roundabouts contain pedestrian crosswalks on all four entrances and exits. Pedestrians have the right to cross when needed, and cars must yield to them. If this occurs, slow down and allow the pedestrian cross, but try to avoid stopping.


As you enter, exit and change lanes in a roundabout, always use indicators. This informs other drivers of your intentions and encourages a smoother flow of traffic. As you are driving through a roundabout, always watch other cars and the use of their indicators to stay informed of their intentions.

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