Tips for Correct Roundabout Protocol

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Online, Defensive Driving Tips, Rules of the Road: Driving Tips

shutterstock_328042862
Roundabouts are becoming more and more common on American roads, but sometimes even the most seasoned driver can get confused when faced with one of these enigmatic traffic circles. Who gives way to whom? Which direction do you signal? How on earth do you navigate roundabouts with multiple lanes? To help you answer these questions and more, we have put together a handy guide for the correct protocol when driving on a roundabout.

slow on approach

One of the advantages of a roundabout is that it does not stop traffic like a stop sign or a red light would. If a roundabout is empty, you do not have to stop before entering. However, that does mean that you must exercise extra caution on approach, and make sure that it is completely safe before entering. Slow down when you are approaching a roundabout, and if the way is clear, then you can proceed.

give way to the person who is already on the roundabout

The first and most important rule of a roundabout, is that you give way to vehicles that are already occupying it. Just as you would when entering a regular road, you must wait until there is sufficient space to enter the roundabout.

give way to the left

When two or more vehicles approach a roundabout at the same time, you must then give way to the vehicle to the left. Otherwise it is first come, first served.

signal your intent

One of the most common mistakes that people use on roundabouts is signalling incorrectly, or not at all. When used properly, indicators can be an excellent way to increase safety and convenience on a roundabout, by letting those around you know of your intentions. A good rule of thumb is to always signal immediately before your exit, using your right indicator, just as you would when turning. Correct indication on a roundabout goes as follows:

–When turning right (first exit), signal right as with a normal right turn.
–When going straight ahead, no signal upon entering, signal as you approach your exit.
–When turning left (last exit/three-quarters around), signal left upon entering, switch to right as you come to the exit.

when there are two lanes

And just when you think that you’ve mastered the roundabout, along comes one with two lanes circling around it. Dealing with two lanes can be intimidating, but the reality is that it is not all that different from a regular, smaller roundabout. Often there will be a sign indicating which lane you should take, but if not, here are some guidelines:

–If you are turning right (first exit), take the outside lane.
–If you are going straight or the second exit, take the outside lane
–If you are taking a further exit, take the innermost lane and move over prior to your exit, after the first or second exit.

The Washington State Department of Transportation provides these diagrams to help illustrate this:
roundabout_navigating_rt_turn_new_TEXT510px2roundabout_navigating_straight_new_TEXT510px2
roundabout_navigating_lf_turn_new_TEXT510px2roundabout_navigating_u_turn_new_TEXT510px2

|

Customer Reviews

Defensivedriving.com has a ShopperApproved rating of 4.7 based on 91185 ratings and reviews.

Tiffany TX, United States
Quick and informative.
Harley United States
It was great! Really easy process
Tung
Super fast and super easy!
Kimberly
Fast and Easy
Lei-Lani
Easy to find and use!
Amanda
fast and to the point
Christina
Easy to use
Carol
Easy to Register, Great Technical Support!
Linda TX, United States
Easy, compliant with my state for ticket dismissal and reasonably priced.
Jonathan TX, United States
Simple and easy to understand. Gets to the point.
Jesse TX, United States
Simple website and registration process.
Janice
Fast and easy
Lisa
Easy to understand, straightforward, simple to register.
William
Easy to use!
ileana TX, United States
I have used this website before over the years and found it easy to navigate! Love it and the ability to call and talk to a person when I need help!
Lizette
It has been simple and efficient to navigate through the website making the decision to use defensivedriving.com easy.
Tonia
Easy to access and understand.
Bertha
It is very affordable!
Alexandria
as good as it gets
Amber TX, United States
Very easy process to understand and very user friendly website.
Raymond
Quick and easy
STEPHANIE United States
Thank you for having everything to take care of my ticket all in one place
Christopher
Great Service!
Carla
Everything has been quick and easy!
Claudia
Fast and easy
Jenny
It is easy and user friendly.
Katherine
Easy to follow instructions.
Roberto TX, United States
Registration was easy, and the completion of the course was simple. Definitely recommend taking this course.
Anne-Marie
Easy to do. Easy to understand
Nada
Fast and efficient
Kathleen
It was wonderful and super easy!!
Pete
Quick and easy process.
David
Simple and straight forward
Ralph
Easy to navigate
See all reviews on shopperApproved.com
Why DefensiveDriving.com
  • 20 Years in Business
  • Over 2 Million Customers Served
  • Highest Possible Better Business Bureau Rating
  • Award Winning Course