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How to Navigate a Roundabout

Roundabouts are designed to make intersections safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, yet many don't know how to properly navigate them. Unfortunately, learning something new can be especially difficult when it involves fast speeds, quick decisions and aggressive drivers. If you've noticed more roundabouts popping up on roads around your neighborhood, here's what you should know to be prepared.

Driving Through a Roundabout

Using a roundabout is very similar to making a right turn from a stop sign or traffic light. As the right-turning driver, you must stop at the sign, look for traffic coming from the left, choose an acceptable gap in traffic, and turn right into the cross street.

At a roundabout, it's very similar. You must to remember to:

  • Yield: As you approach the yield line, look for conflicting traffic coming from the left.
  • Choose a lane: Find a gap in the traffic flow and enter with a right turn at the yield sign using the appropriate lane.
  • Go slow: Once inside the roundabout, continue circling until you exit. Never stop inside.
  • Exit: To leave the roundabout, maneuver to the right within your chosen lane.

Which Lane to Use

Signs usually help you decide what lane to take depending on where you're headed, but here are some general guidelines:

  • Right lane: Use the outer or right lane when you want to take the first exit.
  • Left lane: Use the left lane when your exit point is more than one exit away.

Signaling and Exit

If you want to take the first exit on your right, signal to the right when approaching the lane. If you plan on continuing straight through, select either the left or right lane and stay there until you need to exit the roundabout. Finally, if you want to take the road to your left, you must signal left and approach the roundabout from the left hand lane. Keep to the left in the roundabout and signal right after you have passed the exit before the one you want, and exit directly from the lane in which you are travelling.

Walking Through a Roundabout

  • Pay attention and stay prepared to make decisions.
  • Use your hand or finger to let drivers know you intend to cross.
  • Keep watching all the way across and make eye contact with drivers.
  • Look for a safe gap in the traffic flow before crossing.
  • Use the sidewalks and crosswalks around the outside of the roundabout. Do not cut across the center island.

Cycling Through a Roundabout

As a cyclist, you have a number of choices for navigating through a roundabout, depending on your degree of skill.

For experienced cyclists:

  • Ride as if you were driving a car
  • Merge into the travel lane before the bike lane ends
  • Ride in the middle of your lane
  • Watch out for drivers' blind spots

For less experienced cyclists:

  • Dismount your bicycle
  • Walk through as a pedestrian on foot would

If you have sustained an injury in an accident due to someone else's negligence or recklessness, please contact our Louisiana car accident lawyers at Anderson & Boutwell today. We have helped our clients recover over $50 million, and we want to do the same for you. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay us until we win your case.

Call (985) 796-2245 or contact us online for a free consultation.