How to use a roundabout
Whether you’re a driver, cyclist or pedestrian, it's important to understand how to safely use a roundabout.
A roundabout is a circular intersection that lets drivers slow down and go around until making a turn instead of stopping and waiting.
Watch this video on how to use roundabouts.
To drive through a roundabout safely:
1. Slow down
As you approach a roundabout, slow down to the advisory speed and prepare to stop if necessary.
2. Choose the proper lane
If you’re approaching a multi-lane roundabout, enter the appropriate lane well in advance of the intersection. Follow the signs showing which lanes can be used for different turns. Unless otherwise indicated, the general rule for a two-lane approach are as follows:
Left-turning vehicles should be in the left lane.
Right-turning vehicles should be in the right lane.
Vehicles heading straight can be in the left or right lane.
If you're approaching a single-lane roundabout, you may only enter the single lane and must follow all signs.
3. Stop for pedestrians
Just before you reach the roundabout, look for any pedestrians in the crosswalk. Never block the crosswalk.
4. Yield to traffic
When you reach the roundabout, don't go past the yield sign until all approaching traffic is clear. Traffic already inside the roundabout has the right-of-way. If you're in a multi-lane roundabout, make sure that cross traffic is clear in every approaching lane.
5. Drive through roundabout
When there is a safe gap in all lanes of approaching traffic, proceed into the intersection, keeping to the right of the center island. If you're in a multi-lane roundabout, you cannot change lanes after entry and must stay in the lane you entered through until exiting the roundabout.
6. Exit the roundabout
Before reaching your desired exit, signal right so that drivers waiting to enter and pedestrians waiting to cross know your intentions.
7. Stop for pedestrians
Watch for pedestrians as you exit the roundabout and stop for any pedestrians crossing.
What to do if an emergency vehicle approaches
If you're already in the roundabout, finish driving through it and pull over upon exiting so the emergency vehicle can pass.
You may either cycle through a roundabout with vehicle traffic or use the pedestrian paths.
With vehicle traffic
Before reaching the roundabout, merge with traffic when safe and follow the same rules as vehicles inside the roundabout. Stay in the middle of your lane to avoid collisions with vehicles turning right.
Using pedestrian paths
Before reaching the roundabout, exit the bike lane, dismount on the sidewalk and continue through as a pedestrian.
Some roundabouts have multi-use paths where you may continue cycling alongside pedestrians. Be aware of pedestraisn you're sharing the path with and make sure to reduce your speed when entering onto and travelling along the multi-use path. Dismount and walk when using any marked crosswalks.
When exiting the roundabout, use the raised pathway at the ramp that leads down to the bike lane or the shoulder of the road.
Pedestrians should remember the following when crossing any roundabout:
Pedestrian crosswalks are marked approximately one car length away from the roundabout. You should cross only at these crosswalks. Never cross to the centre island.
Don't start crossing until you know it's safe, which means that there's enough space in incoming traffic or that all approaching vehicles have stopped.
Pedestrian crosswalks may also be connected to dedicated bicycle paths. If you see one, be aware that you're sharing the crosswalk and paths with cyclists.
Benefits of roundabouts
Roundabouts improve traffic flow and can even reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
They reduce serious crashes, injuries and fatalities because they essentially eliminate the chance of a head-on collision or a crash involving a left turn.
They improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.