U.S. drivers know four-way intersections, but roundabouts? Well, that’s a different story. These circular intersections simply aren’t as popular in the U.S. compared to other countries like England and France, so fewer drivers know how to navigate them. But with tons more roundabouts, or traffic circles, being built in the U.S. now than there were in any decade before the 2000s, according to Bloomberg, many drivers are finding they need to learn the proper rules of the roundabout.
Don’t get stuck in a roundabout! Learn the ins and outs of driving in a single-lane and multi-lane roundabout with our step-by-step directions and GIFs below! And if car insurance has you going ’round in circles, call, click or come in for help navigating your options.
How to Drive in a Single-Lane Roundabout
Step 1: Look for the roundabout sign.
As you approach the roundabout, a yellow “roundabout ahead” sign will alert you of the upcoming traffic circle and its advisory speed limit.
Step 2: Slow down and yield.
Slow down as you near the yield sign and dashed yield line at the entrance to the roundabout and yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Step 3: Yield to traffic.
Look to your left. Yield to traffic circling the roundabout.
Step 4: Enter roundabout.
When there’s a gap in traffic, enter the roundabout. Stay in your lane as you navigate the circle to your exit. Don’t stop.
Step 5: Exit with caution.
When it’s time exit, use your turn signal and watch for pedestrians.
How to Drive in a Multi-Lane Roundabout
Step 1: Choose a lane.
As you approach the multi-lane roundabout, look for a yellow “roundabout ahead” sign with an advisory speed limit and a black-and-white “lane choice” sign to remind you to choose a lane.
- To go left, get in the left lane.
- To go right, get in the right lane.
- To go straight, get in either the left or right lane.
- To make a U-turn, get in the left lane.
Step 2: Yield to pedestrians and traffic.
Watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk and look to your left, yielding to traffic in both lanes already in the roundabout as you near the entrance to the roundabout.
Step 3: Enter roundabout.
When there’s a gap in traffic, enter the circle and stay in your lane.
Step 4: Navigate the roundabout.
Navigate the roundabout, and when it’s time to exit, use your turn signal.
Step 5: Exit the roundabout.
As you exit the roundabout, watch for pedestrians.
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