Round - a - What? How to Conquer Roundabouts Abroad

Driving on a roundabout can be hard for Americans who are not used to them. While roundabouts are popular in many European countries they are not as popular in the United States so most drivers here rarely have the opportunity to practice using them. However, driving on a roundabout is very simple to learn. In addition, using a roundabout can improve the flow of traffic and keep traffic safer for drivers and pedestrians.

All roundabout have a traffic sign letting drivers know they are about to enter one. Depending on whether it is a single-lane or multi-lane roundabout the sign will be a yellow diamond with arrows showing the shape of a roundabout (single), or it will be a white rectangle that lets you choose which lane to go in prior to entering the roundabout (multilane).

If you are using a multilane roundabout choose which lane you are going to use, right or left, before you enter. Once you are driving in the roundabout do not change lanes. For instance, if you are going to turn right you should stay in the right lane. If you are going to go straight you can choose the right or left lane. To run left or make a u-turn you need to stay in the left lane.

As you are entering the roundabout you will need to do two things simultaneously. First you should watch out for pedestrians who are using the crosswalk. If there is a pedestrian you need to stop and let them pass. In addition, you need to yield to traffic that is already in the roundabout. Once you have a clear path you can go ahead and enter the roundabout and that’s it. You now know how to drive on a roundabout.


Washington State Dept. of Transportation – How to Drive a Roundabout

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