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13- Roundabouts

Drivers Icon Teaching Your Teen to Drive

Roundabouts are becoming more common in the U.S. because they provide safer and more efficient traffic flow than standard intersections. Statistics show that roundabouts reduce fatal crashes by about 90%, reduce injury crashes by about 75%, and reduce overall crashes by about 35%, when compared to other types of intersection control.

This example shows the traffic movement patterns through a one-lane roundabout. The one-lane roundabout is known as one of the safest and most efficient intersections.

Driving a roundabout:

  • Slow down. Obey traffic signs and pavement markings.
  • Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Yield to traffic on your left already in the roundabout.
  • Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in traffic.
  • Keep your speed low within the roundabout.
  • As you approach your exit, turn on your right turn signal.
  • Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists as you exit.

Emergency vehicles in the roundabout:

  • Always yield to emergency vehicles.
  • If you have not entered the roundabout, pull over and allow emergency vehicles to pass.
  • If you have entered the roundabout, continue to your exit, then pull over and allow emergency vehicles to pass.
  • Avoid stopping in the roundabout.

Driving a roundabout with two or more lanes:

As you approach the roundabout, it is very important to observe the signs and pavement markings to determine which lane to use before entering. Black and white signs on the side of the road and white pavement markings on the road will show the correct lane to use. In general, if you want to make a left turn, you should be in the left lane or other lanes that are signed and marked as left turn lanes. If you want to make a right turn, you should be in the right lane or other lanes that are signed and marked as right turn lanes. If you want to go straight, observe the signs and pavement markings to see what lane is correct.

Yield the right-of-way

As a rule of thumb, when entering or driving a roundabout, always yield to traffic on your left.