AARP Driving Resource Center

A Guide to Driving in Roundabouts

Roundabouts move traffic through intersections without the aid of traffic signals

Roundabouts move traffic through intersections without the aid of traffic signals.

See also: Federal highways — Proven safety countermeasures

At roundabouts, vehicles travel counterclockwise around a center island, with entering traffic yielding the right of way to circulating traffic.

Some roundabouts have more than one lane of traffic. If there are multiple lanes, observe the signs and pavement markings to determine which lane to use before entering the roundabout. Generally, left turns should be made from the left lane or other lanes that are signed and marked as left turn lanes. If making a right turn, stay in the right lane or other lanes that are signed and marked as right turn lanes.

Right Turn in Roundabout

Moving Straight Through Roundabout

Left Turns in a Roundabout

Reverse Direction Through Roundabout

Complex Roundabout

In any type of roundabout it is important to slow down, obey traffic signs and yield to pedestrians, bicyclists and traffic on your left. Only enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in the traffic. Always remember to use your right turn signal when approaching your intended exit. Although roundabouts may be confusing at first, they result in slower speeds and fewer crashes, especially the right-angle and head-on crashes that often result in injuries or even deaths. Roundabouts also help decrease vehicle emissions and fuel use and manage traffic congestion.

Trucks in a Roundabout

Large vehicles need more space in a roundabout and may cross into other lanes; avoid driving next to or passing large trucks when in a roundabout.

Some roundabouts have a truck apron, or a paved area inside a roundabout for the rear wheels of large trucks to use when turning, and should never be used by cars, SUVs or pickup trucks.

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