A roundabout is a circular intersection which connects two or more roads. Traffic circulates in a counter-clockwise direction, yielding to traffic already in the roundabout.
- Safety - Fewer points of conflict and slower speeds decrease the risk of serious car crashes or injury.
- Volume - In comparison to traffic lights, roundabouts make left hand turns more efficient.
- Efficiency - With fewer stops and less delays than a traffic light or stop sign, roundabouts allow high volumes of traffic to travel through the area.
- Environmental impact - Roundabouts are more environmentally friendly as they eliminate maintenance and electricity costs affiliated with traffic signals. Additionally, fewer delays help reduce the level of fuel consumption and car emissions wasted at stop lights.
How to Use a Roundabout
No matter which mode of travel you’re using, it’s important to understand your role in keeping roundabouts safe for everyone.
As a driver
- Slow down
- Approach the roundabout with caution
- Pay attention to traffic including cyclists
- Watch for pedestrians
- Be cautious of large vehicles as they may require extra room to navigate
- Enter only when there is a safe gap in traffic
- Choose the correct lane which corresponds to your intended exit
- Never pass another vehicle in the roundabout
- Use your right-hand signal when exiting the roundabout
As a cyclist
- Cyclists familiar with roundabout protocol can proceed through the roundabout in the same way a vehicle would
- Inexperienced cyclists are advised to dismount and cross the roundabout as a pedestrian
As a pedestrian
- Cross only when it is safe to do so
- Never cross using a roundabouts central island
Many municipalities are installing roundabouts instead of traditional intersections. Tips for driving through a double-lane roundabout safety:
- Watch for and STOP for pedestrians
- SIGNAL as you exit the roundabout
- To turn RIGHT or go straight, use the right lane
- To turn LEFT or go straight, use the left lane
In case of an Emergency Vehicle
- Never pull over in the roundabout
- If you have yet to enter the roundabout, pull over to the right when it is safe to do so and allow the emergency vehicle to pass
- If you are in the roundabout when the emergency vehicle approaches, take your intended exit and pull over to the right when it is safe to do so