A roundabout is a circular intersection where two or more roads meet. Traffic circulates through them counter-clockwise, to the right of a centre island. All entering vehicles must yield to traffic already in the roundabout. Make sure you understand how to drive through a roundabout.
Driving through a roundabout
Approaching the roundabout
When you approach the roundabout :
- Slow down
- Keep to the right of the splitter island
- Use the correct lane for your intended destination
- Pay special attention to pedestrians who may be crossing the roadway
- Yield to cyclists and any traffic already driving through the roundabout
- Stop if there are vehicles already inside the roundabout and the way is not clear
- Enter when there is a safe gap in traffic
Driving in the roundabout
When you're in the roundabout:
- Keep to the right of the centre island and drive in a counter-clockwise direction until you reach your exit
- Don't pass large vehicles or change lanes
- Don't stop inside the roundabout, except to avoid a collision
Leaving the roundabout
To exit the roundabout:
- Use your right-turn signal
- If you miss your exit, continue around the roundabout again and then exit
Share the road
If you are still outside the roundabout: Pull over to the right, if you can do so safely. Let the emergency vehicle pass you before you enter.
If you are inside the roundabout already: Drive around to your intended exit. Leave the roundabout completely before you pull over to the right. Then let the emergency vehicle pass you.
Large vehicles may need to use more than one lane when they enter, drive through and exit a roundabout. Within the roundabout, they may also need to use the truck apron. Give large vehicles plenty of room to navigate.
Roundabouts are generally safer for pedestrians than traditional intersections. Follow these tips to cross a roundabout safely:
- Cross the roads that lead into the roundabout one at a time. Never cross a roundabout by walking over the central island.
- Wait for a gap in traffic. Cross only when it is safe.
Visually impaired pedestrians
There is no traffic signal to control the traffic moving through a roundabout. This can make it hard to spot gaps in the traffic where you can cross safely. If you can, ask someone to help you.
If you're an experienced cyclist, you can move through the roundabout the same way you would in a vehicle:
- Merge into the centre of the vehicle lane before the bike lane or shoulder ends
- Stay in the middle of the lane to avoid collisions with other vehicles exiting to the right
New cyclists should get off their bicycles and cross the roundabout as pedestrians.
Signs and pavement markings
|Slow down; the roundabout is 300 metres ahead.|
|Directional guide signs show the exits and where they will take you.|
|Choose the correct lane based on the direction you want to go. Keep to the right of the Central Island.|
|Yield to all traffic in the roundabout, wait for an adequate gap and then enter. Traffic inside the roundabout always has the right-of-way. In the roundabout, travel only in a counter-clockwise direction.|
|Motorists are only permitted to travel in one direction (counter-clockwise) within a roundabout. A one-way sign is installed in the roundabout central island facing entering traffic to identify the direction of travel.|
|These signs mark the exits from the roundabout and show the road name and its destination. As you approach your exit, signal right and carefully exit the roundabout. Watch for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the roadway as you exit the roundabout.|
|Don't drive beside large trucks when approaching or within the roundabout. Large trucks may need both lanes to pass through the roundabout.|
Benefits of roundabouts
Roundabouts have a number of benefits over traditional intersections, including :
- Safety : lower speeds and fewer points of conflict between vehicles reduces the potential for serious crashes and injury
- Lower speeds : unlike at a green light at an intersection, vehicles need to slow down to use a roundabout, reducing the likelihood of a serious crash
- Higher capacity : a high volume of vehicles turning left is handled better by a roundabout than by a left-turn signal at a traditional intersection
- Fewer stops and shorter delays : yielding at the entry of a roundabout takes less time than waiting for a green light at an intersection or for a gap in traffic at a stop sign
- Less idling and air pollution : fewer delays reduces fuel consumption and improves air quality by reducing emissions
- Lower maintenance costs : roundabouts eliminate maintenance and electricity costs associated with traffic signals
- Aesthetically pleasing : there is an opportunity for landscaping within the central island of a roundabout
Recommended for you
- Read the How to Use Roundabouts brochure
- Learn how to drive through a roundabout in the Driver's Handbook