Whether you’re a pro helping someone learn, a newbie, or just looking to see some outright instructions after doing a little too much guesswork, reading about how roundabouts work can be very helpful. Let us help make things a little clearer.
How do roundabouts work?
Roundabouts are designed to keep traffic flowing. It might seem like an odd concept—everybody driving in a circle to keep things moving—but it works surprisingly well. Roundabouts are often placed at intersections where stop signs usually sit, and they work from some of the same basic rules: if you get to the intersection before another car, you’re cleared to go ahead. The trick is that who drives through the intersection—or, rather, around it—depends on who’s going where. There are a limited number of directions one goes through an intersection: straight through, right, and left. Roundabouts actually add another option, as you can make a U-turn as well.
What do I do when I get to a roundabout?
No worries, we can answer that for you! But you should know, it might be helpful to read this with a pen and paper you can doodle on to keep track of everything.
- Approach in the correct lane. If you’re turning right, use the right lane; if you’re turning left or making a U-turn use the left lane. If you’re going straight through, you can use either. Keep an eye on those road markings!
- Look to your left. If there is another car turning toward you (by going around the roundabout, making a left or U-turn), wait until that car has passed before crossing the intersection. If there is a car going through the intersection, you can drive through at the same time.
- If you’re turning right, go ahead and turn right. You can do this even if there’s another car going around the roundabout or making a left or U-turn, you can still turn right if there are two lanes.
- If you’re turning left or making a U-turn, drive around the roundabout until you’re facing the part of the intersection you need.
- Don’t go too fast and don’t change lanes while you’re driving around the roundabout. That’s it!
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